Fake Airbnb reviews in my area, how to tackle this issue?

According to what I’m being told by a guest who reserved 6 times in my area (3 times with me), there are fake reviews in my area. Even though he did not reserve through Airbnb with one of his stays, the host still made him write a review on Airbnb (I know not possible, but the guest insisted that he left a review for that host). Also, there are some listings with obviously questionable reviews left by a handful of local males all in the same age range and writing way.
Knowing that I only have genuine reviews, what can I do about this?

Nothing since it doesn’t exist. What is more likely? Someone reviews on Airbnb though they have no Airbnb reservation or someone either lies to you or is confused?

Fake news, fake reviews, it’s all the rage these days.


From what I understood, the host is making people he knows book his unbooked days and is paying them the full fees + reservation amount (after he lowers it). That’s how they’re leaving reviews, without booking his apartment.

Edit: by without booking I mean without checking in.

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Why don’t you just report the listing?


if his place isn’t so great, then the real bookings will leave reviews that reflect that. I wouldn’t worry about it.


This is called hearsay @renter101. You heard through a third party that a host is doing something.

This third party is already somewhat less than credible as they hold you the host ‘forced him’ (what gun to his head) to leave a review via Airbnb - even though he hadn’t booked using them. Which as we know is impossible.

Also although not strictly on the up and up, I have heard of other hosts asking friends and family to stay via Airbnb to get their reviews up.

I wouldn’t worry if you have a lovely listing and provide a great service, this will shine through someone with questionable reviews.


I don’t see how fake reviews are possible. Maybe someone is doing it but you would have to book the place, pay for it, and pay Air’s service fees on both ends. I don’t know if people are really going to all that much trouble. It’s probably just guests with lousy communications skills.

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And even if they did, how long can they go on with the charade. If their aim is to get real business, they’ll end up getting real reviews, and if they’ve not done a good job, that’ll show. They cannot simply rely on fabricated reviews, can they.

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A fake review is easy :blush:, in the sense that you just need someone (yourself with another profile and another credit card) to make a reservation at a low price (special offer). And then just write yourself a lovely review.

But of course, if the given service to real guests doesn’t match up to the wonderful reviews, those guests will quickly “correct”. Then again, apart from a simple lack of service it could also very well be a situation where guests are put into danger… Sorry, my paranoia taking over again :sunglasses:.


What danger?

Suppose this person has a property that makes him $ 250,00 a night. His special offers to himself he can sell for $ 5,00 (Is there a minimum?) a night. It’s not a lot of investment, he gives the impression to be booked a lot, with lots of wonderful reviews, super host, etc…
This place must be wonderful at $ 250,00 a night, no? Let’s book it quickly before someone else books. + Little offerings - (virtual) high demand => People will want to pay more, he has less work and makes more money.

I always say: If the systems allows to be played, it will definitely be played !

LOL that was quick!

People with bad intentions will first try to gain trust. In this case the trust to stay at this place. After that anything could happen: Robbery, rape, murder,… Did I already tell you I have moments of paranoia? :rofl::rofl::rofl:

No probably it’s just a way to get more guests :wink:.


There is a GBP 7 minimum, probably USD 10.

There must be at least 10 bookings (and reviews) to get to superhost. The trickster will have to fake 10 identities, with 10 separate cards. It’s a bit of work. The other cost is all that service fees lost. You think Airbnb won’t notice if all the first (and only) 10 bookings of a client were at the minimum possible and all 5 stars?

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It could be a “returning” guest, who stays every two days. Crazy work schedule you know :wink:. Of course this would show to other guests. Then again, 3 guests always returning for more is also a good selling point, isn’t it?
But I totally get your point that it’s a bit of work, but to some the work might just be worth it.

To be honest I don’t think AirBnB cares. They should care, but they got a booking fee so why would they?

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What GutHend is explaining is what happening here in my area.

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They would care, and I would think they have such checks embedded in their algorithm to raise red flags.

They care because of reputational damage. Imagine word went around that this could be done and was being done on a large scale. The trust on the entire platform will be destroyed, leading ultimately to longer-term damage that eclipses the short-term gain here.

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Have you discussed this with Airbnb? What have they said?

I sent them an email a couple of hours ago.

Perhaps this is best done in a conversation on the phone. Let’s say, in a follow-up call to the email.

Do keep us posted here.

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