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I have had a guest that ordered two credit cards in my name using identity fraud. I only found out about this by checking my credit score otherwise I would have got a nasty surprise at the end of the month.
I contacted AirBnB and there response has been awful and the persons account is still active. I can’t even fully fill out a Police Report because AirBnB will not give me his details.
What kind of process do people have in place to combat this type of fraud? I don’t want to physically meet my guests as I use Lockboxes but would like a method where I could screen my guests before I accept there booking.
i will never trust AirBnB ‘verified guest’ ever again and will never believe any reviews because this person had glowing reviews but they probably only found out about his scam after the 14 days review period had ended.
I am guessing you have a shared home listing? LOCK YOUR PERSONAL SPACES do not allow access to your stuff. I have whole house listings so a guest would not have access to anything they could use to access my credit.
Also I am lucky in the fact that my county requires that I get a copy of guest ID and keep it for three years. If I had a theft or needed to take a guest to court I would have the actual information.
I would put it in your house rules that the county/city requires you get a copy of ID at check in and have the guests snap a pic and send it to you. I have never been challenged on this.
The person ordered a credit card before he arrived, then booked my place for the card to arrive the day after check-in. Then once inside, he asked ‘if he could stay for another 10 days’ then in that time, ordered another card for it arrive while he was in there.
He destroyed by credit rating but that should get cleared up in 8 weeks time.
I have now forwarded any post to my airbnb address to another address, but I can only do this for 4 years. No idea that someone could order a credit card in my name, with false information like this. I even told airbnb and (by accident) told me that one of the bookings he made was with one of the identity fraud cards. They still didnt take down his account!
Is there any methods that I could use to vet guests before I confirming a guest. Is asking for name and addresses enough to vet a guest?
AirBnb cannot stop you from asking for ID, they do have a policy against copying it which in my case is overridden by the local regulations, air cannot make you break the law. I would tell every guest that you check ID at check in, that would likely stop this sort of scammer. No mail to the house is a good idea too.
Can you get a PO box and permanently stop getting mail to the house? I live in an area where there is no other option, we all have to go to the post office to get our mail. I would remove the mailbox if I were you!
Sorry this happened. While this is really important to you right now, you have to realize that Airbnb guests aren’t the most common way to get your identity stolen, and even if you screen your guests, you will only reduce the already slim chances of a guest doing this again. A guest could use a fake ID to register with Airbnb and show you a different fake ID (since Airbnb doesn’t share the information with hosts, you would never know).
Monitoring your credit was the right thing to do and it’s better than any screening you could do yourself.
Freeze your accounts so this does not happen to you again. Luckily, you monitor your credit rating and noticed the fraud. I have my credit frozen so if anyone tries to open an account, it will be turned down. If I need to open an account, then I use a password to unfreeze it. You can freeze your accounts online or by simply calling the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax). It takes less than a minute for each call.
I used to ask for a Govt. Photo ID but then a guest complained and Airbnb said I couldn’t ask for that to be uploaded but could ask for it to be shown (not copies) when they arrived. Since I offer self-check in that was not an option. What Airbnb said I can ask is their name, address and age and also the same info of their guests. I can also ask that their profile picture is just a face photo with no sunglasses, hats, etc. And I can ask for selfies of their guests. If something seems off I do google. Also, I require guests to upload their Govt. Photo id to Airbnb as part of the verification process. I will not host a guest that only provides an email address and phone number (both can be gotten for free from google.)
Call your local police department’s non-emergency number and ask to be transferred to the office handling identity theft. You’ll probably get voice mail. Ask her or him to go to court and request a warrant, and offer to assist the officer in helping you in verifying your identity theft so you can protect your credit.
Then go to the main credit bureaus web pages and ask that they lock your information, so that it can’t be given out for credit checks unless you authorize it.
Then call Air back and ask to talk to a supervisor. If they don’t answer within 24 hours send a short complaint to @AirBnB on Twitter and Air’s Facebook page. That should get them to call you and help.
I am based in the UK so we dont have social security numbers. Also I can’t block my house from credit agencies because that looks like it’s a USA thing.
So the latest update is that because I have complained to Airbnb, my account has now been flagged so I can’t Instant Book anymore. (Instant book is turned on but it doesn’t appear in the listing when you search for Instant book properties)
So it looks like I have been punished for being credit card fraud victim but the account that committed this crime is still active, ready to strike again