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New Scam warning to hosts!


Late night before last, I got a booking request from the UK on the other platform. I am on both. The message was short, just said"are these dates available". I pre-approved. Last night late, I get a message saying," My company is paying for this vacation. They can only do a check. Call me at this number , to discuss."
I immediately felt this was wrong. So I messaged back, "No. I only communicate through the platform. I only accept payment through the platform. Call the platform if you need help. I am on Pacific time in the US. I will not message any further tonight.
Then this am I called customer service. She looked at the message stream, right away she said this is a scam. She told me that they are seeing this happening. The host calls the guest at the phone number they send. Someone answers pretending to be a company office worker. They ask the host for name, address, phone #, bank acct # and SS#. Host gives them the info and , they never get a check, or a booking or a guest. The scammer gets ID info enough to steal ID.
Be aware!



If I get a request for paying cash or any other sort of nonsense, I just refuse and then ignore it. Why did you call?


Because I had a feeling it was a scam. I wanted them to be aware and see what to do. I was right. Customer service blocked them from my stream and sent it on to the part of the company that deals with this.


Thank you for sharing this and calling Airbnb so they would know and could either counsel the offender (maybe naive mistake) or block them because it feels sketchy


I get these weekly on VRBO. This scam has been going around for years.


Thank you for reporting this to ABB. Even if they can’t fix anything, I appreciate you letting them, and us, know.


there is no reason ever to Pre-Approve.
That is where the mistake occurred on your end.
There is no reason for them to ask you if dates are available…your calendar shows your dates.
This is the most common scam of all and you opened yourself to it by pre-approving a request without any dates. Repeat: dont ever again do a pre-approval…that is for the naive.
Just as with ABB, it helps to learn the system and the differences between the listing sites.
If you dont take time to learn the Smart in and outs, you will get burned.
This time you got lucky.
I suggest you jump onto their Owners Forum and gain a better grasp of the site benefits, problems, and quirks. Read comments from other owners and get involved.
By the way, as a premier partner on HA I prefer to communicate off site around the platform, and it is not forbidden. They will not big brother you the same way and they are not your middle man.
I also hope you are requiring a signed contract and a Security Deposit.
Good luck.



I appreciate the OPs intention to let us know about a scam that is occurring. He was trying to be helpful.

I didn’t think the OP asked for our feedback on what we think could have been done better. Tell enough people who try to be helpful how wrong they are, no one will try to be helpful again.

I think your intentions were to educate but a bit more tact would be appreciated.


I understand your input, but I have to be honest…I was intending and trying to clobber the OP over the head.
This is an ABB site, but the OP was reporting in on a HA scenario.
It is super duper important that the OP, and everyone on this forum, learns that the sites operate very differently.
The “big daddy” protections that are common on ABB, dont exist on HA. Owners must be much smarter and aware when listing on HA, as the site grew differently and was birthed as strictly an advertising site granting total autonomy to owners.
I felt it was better for me to clobber the owner now ( with kindness ) rather than later, after a huge loss of money.
The OP needed feedback on how to proceed and do something better, as does anyone who decides to diversify into the HA site.
I am truly wanting to be helpful…and protective. But I understand what you are saying and I appreciate your thoughts.


Members of this forum are not required to use ABB although many of us do. There are threads frequently about occurrences on other STR platforms


that is correct.
And as an “expert” in HA, I decided to be outspoken.
Again, thank you for your input and feedback.


Hi, I am glad that you posted this as I also list my home on other sites including HA. A guy named “Johnny” just sent me the same type of email this week about wanting to pay with a check…his company would write the check…and asked for my direct email address, phone number and my address…so my Host replied that we do not accept checks. Period. Here is his message in case he tries this again to someone else:
“How are you doing today,am an ocesion engineer have been on water for
months,we gonna be traveling from Texas down to your property,it’s our
first time of going outside of Texas and I need your help my company will
be taking care of the vacation,and am going to be sending you a company
check or certified check for the payment, kindly get back to me with the
mailing information and the total quote for the nights and also feel free
_to leave me a text on +1440 and 536 and 9051.we can further discuss this,


What’s really sad is that variations of these “scams” have been going on one platform or another forever and yet people still fall for them. When I first started on ebay I’d get weird messages about stuff both on the buying and selling side.


Using the word Kindly is enough to see it is a scam. Also
The sentence structure and grammar is bad.
Luckily no harm was done. Thank you OP for caring enough to post this.


yes, to both comments. The sentence structure is horrible, but that’s not atypical…lol! the real giveaway is that he couldn’t correctly spell his own job!!! We gave him the support numbers for HA and said to call them about payment. That took care of it.


@georgygirlofairbnb hi, you seem to be very knowledgeable about the HA processes. I am fairly new to HA and just received an “inquiry” email in my inbox. I thought all communication would be on the site. The person asked about availability in June 2019 and also asked some generic questions…what’s the total charge…any hidden fees, etc. I responded which led to another question…my host sent the quote …which generated another question…I’m suspicious at this point so sent HA help link to person. That ended the question, but I see the “guest” was pre-approved in HA. I use smartbnb message system and have dismantled the “pre-approval” email. Can you tell me what triggered the pre-approval?


When you reply to an inquiry your can reply and per approve or just reply. There are 2 tabs.


Using the ap on the phone seems to trigger a pre-approval, unless you click the box to stop it. Or it happens automatically. Lousy system.
That does not happen on a laptop.
Were you on phone or laptop?
It should expire in 72 hours and also it should not block your calendar.
Let me know more…


@georgygirlofairbnb hi, we were both using our cell phones and app. i responded to her emails on my phone. only a few of the emails are shown on the laptop version of HA. now i’m totally confused. as i said, i’m using smartbnb for all messaging and have disabled the pre-approval email. what i can’t figure out is how to disable the auto messages in HA?
the last email that i sent included an additional fee in the quote. did that trigger the pre-approval?
i’m on the laptop. i don’t see any place where i can stop the HA messages??? thx!!


@georgygirlofairbnb AND- the name on the HA app is different from the one on the laptop version. How does that happen???

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