I’m new to Air B&B. How can I satisfy myself that a listing is for real and not a scam?
Look for multiple positive reviews, you can only review a property if you have actually stayed there - of course reviews can still be faked but it is more challenging.
Also make sure you have a good correspondence with the host prior to and after booking - trust your gut.
And remember if something looks too good to be true - it probably is!
I would imagine the number of fraudulent listings is near to 0%.
At most, if someone were to list a bogus listing, they would get one stay before they were found out. The guest would call customer service and the stay would be refunded and the listing would be removed.
So, the risk is quite minimal.
@felixcat is right. Security is the highest strength of Airbnb.
A review can only take place if the guest have stayed there and this is because all the bookng process is handled thourgh Airbnb. So every review you see on each listing is a truth certification that reinforce how good (or not) is the place you are planing to stay at.
When I read those editorials saying that some guests here an there were ripped off or so,I can only think it belongs ot a global campaign managed by the hotel industry to damage the Airbnb brand awareness. Being myself a host, I know it is absolutly impossible to fake my listing or my reputation.
If there were a host attemping to scam guest he will have only one try and he will still fail because Airbnb will return the entire money to the guest. Remember you have 24hs “AFTER” check-in to complain about a mismatch between what you rent and you actually receive.
In this sense, I always find annoying the guest that asks if he can pay outside the site to avoid the fees because paying through the site is what makes the system a secure place and what also protect him from a real scam.