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My guests robbed me and I have a proof. What do I do?

Hi friends. I am scared and frustrated as I write it.
I had a guest who stayed with us for 1 night. She booked for herself and claimed to be here for a conference. After she checked out I came home and as I was going through the listing I found our personal items missing such as:

  1. my coat
  2. my husband wedding suit and some other stuff

I asked the guest and she said she had no clue about these items. I still made a claim of $500 as I was sure these things were in the storage when I checked her in, but I did not have any proof rather then my word.

I run to my community manager to check the video cameras that we have all over our condo.

I got a reply today with pictures of her plus 2 guys that she brought with her to take our stuff out. I also have a picture of the license plate of the car they were driving away.

She also stole few packages from our neighbors!!!

She checked out 2 days ago and have not received a payout yet - it was a fraudulent transaction as well. I’ve been talking to AirBnb few times already and till the last moment they would not tell me it was fraud, they explained the delay being “random safety checkout”.

Anyone had similar experience? I have 2 questions bothering me:

  1. will I get a payout for hosting this “guest”
  2. what are my next steps? Do I file a police report? Do I contact a guest and tell her I have a proof or its gonna scare her away?

Many of you have helped me big time. Look forward to hearing from you in this difficult moment!

File a police report immediately. Give them all the evidence but keep a copy for yourself. Airbnb will not be an advocate for you in the circumstances, or they might be but why trust them?

On iPhone right now, so difficult to write much more. If I have more thoughts I will post later.

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Thank you, will file a police report asap. You can always PM - really appreciate your input! :slight_smile:

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I am going through the same ordeal. Luckily for you they have video. In my case, I couldn’t prove that he stole my stuff. They gave me $164, and I lost probably $6k, when you count my lease break fee, lost reservations, laptops, iphones, cash and coins, not to mention the longterm effects of identity theft.

My name already appeared on a hotel receipt in Milwaukee 1 week later, SMH.

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I am sorry you are going through this! It sounds like a nightmare.
So what kind of proof Air wanted from you?
I assume you did file police report right?!

Oh Ana, I’m so sorry. All I can say is I send hugs and well wishes. Really really sorry you had this happen. These criminals are getting so damn brazen.

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Thank you, dear, for your support and love. I saw some other hosts’ posts and comparing to what happened to them I am lucky;). Thankfully they did not distroy the house. My main concern is that there is no such a thing as AirBnb verification of any sort. My mistake was not taking photo of her ID, next time I will do it for last minute booking with no reviews.
However, police has everything to track them down if they really want to, hopefully the car they were driving was not stolen as well!

This is heartbreaking @Anastasia_Stal - I hope it is resolved for you as soon as possible :unamused: x

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Thank you! I will post an update as it gets resolved. From what I’ve been reading on the Forum with the police report Air will reimburse me. Again, I feel lucky we do not live on a property and only had some of our winter clothes and suits hanging in there. Trying to understand these thefts, the woman is still in touch with me and “accepted” my $500 claim, I already know her credit card is fraudulent!!! Can’t wrap my head around! Worried they are on their next “job” already robbing other hosts!!!

Speechless. …

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Do you care to share which country/state you are located in? Some states in U.S. would consider this a felony, and if Air does not pay you, then I would follow through with the guest and let her know what jail time is faced and let her know you have every intention of pressing charges if she does not send you the money immediately.

Air does not verify credit cards. They have told me if the card is reported stolen (by the card holder) before payout, then I will receive nothing. But if I am already paid out, and then the card is reported stolen…Air says they will eat the charge. But I am hesistant to believe that, and that they wouldn’t want to take the money from future payouts.

Please keep us posted.

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Lessons learned?

Do not trust your guest, and do not depend on AirBnB to check your guests credentials.

Always check your guests ID, and note the details, when you are doing a personal check in

If you have the guests ID, it will be a lot easier to go to the police, and they know it.
If they gave a fake CC number to AirBnB, they will also have given a fake ID to them too.

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I am in California, Bay Area. I guess the ID was also fake, but I have the license plate number. I will be filling police report on Monday and do aa they say. Don’t want to engage in any conversation with this criminals. For sure, will keep you posted!!! Learning new lesson…!!!

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Yes, Chris, lesson learned. Do you check your every guest ID?

Yes, in my country, and many other countries in Europe, everyone that is hosting paying guests is required to collect the guests data:

I am required to take:
Name(s)
Date of Birth
Sex
Nationality
Country of Origin
Adress
Kind of ID
Number of ID
Date of issue ID
Issueing Authority ID

Currently I am required to take them from the main guest only, but the debate is going that in the future I am required to register them for all guests.

80% of my guests are doing an online check in, I only compare the data they have entered against the ID they show me. This saves a lot of time and work.

I have to keep this information for 3 years, and have to be able to show them to the authorities if required.

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Thanks Chris. I am taking it to the account. I like that.

That’s great you got those videos and her license plate number. That’ll help you a lot!

We have an indoor security camera in the public area of our apartment. When I first mentioned that here a lot of people were somewhat critical of the idea, but if I were you I’d get a $100 Amcrest camera with motion detection and cloud video recording/storage. Then, as they’re walking out your front door you’ll have them on camera with all your stuff in their hands.

We also mention on our listing that we have an indoor security camera and I’m hoping that would prevent people like this woman from even wanting to book here.

Oh and one other thing. We have a digital dead-bolt lock on our bedroom door. WHENEVER we leave the apartment, we always lock it so no one can get into our room/personal space. And we keep all our valuables in there. There is nothing of too much value in the guestrooms or in the public areas of the apartment - unless they’re going to start carrying furniture and plates and glasses out the door!

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I understand people being critical of it and I don’t think I’d like it as a guest. However, if you could put a camera in an entryway that’s just pointing at the door as people go in and out, even if it were inside, I’d have no issue with that.

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And then?
Only having a camera is useless, because the only thing it shows is people walking out of the door.
It does not show who is walking out of the door.

And people who think that an unknown person can easely be identified from some camera images, watch too much CSI on TV.

In real life, camera images on itself are useless. They should be used together with some kind of guest registration.

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