Possible scam - guest claiming my dog bit her

Hi I am a superhost who stopped hosting for a few years due to Covid and recently resumed hosting a room in my home. I have a small dachsund mix and two cats, and my listing mentions all of these as well as the fact my dog barks at the door when anyone arrives but he is harmless. This was my first guest post Covid. She requested to stay for one week starting on the day she booked. She had no prior reviews and said she was coming from Texas for work training. She didnt tell me what time she would arrive. When she arrived, I greeted her and was holding my dog, who was barking. He stopped after a few minutes. I told the guest, who had no luggage with her as one would expect for a week long stay, to make herself comfortable after telling her where things were (the room, the guest bathroom). She seemed fine and went to the room where she stayed for ten minutes before coming out and saying she would be back. She left without taking the key. I figured she went to grab dinner or something but didn’t think anything of it.

She never did come back last night or this morning and I got an email from Airbnb’s safety team that I was unable to open. I called twice to find out what happened and I learned that the guest is claiming my dog bit her. which is absolutely ridiculous and impossible given that I was holding him and I was never close enough to her for him to bite. Not to mention that he is a lover and would never bite anyone. I socialize him a lot and he loves being petted by strangers including kids.

Is this a thing? I am wondering if this is a scam and what I need to do to prevent it. Even if my dog was in a kennel, it seems it would be her word against mine as to what happened. I am disappointed that this is my experience first guest out of the gate.

1 Like

I’m sorry this happened.

This surprises me. Do you mean to say ‘email’? I would think that Airbnb would message you on the platform.

If it was an off-platform email I am thinking the email is part of this scam. If you have software on your computer to eliminate malware I would use it. Here is good antivirus and anti-malware software. Products and pricing | Malwarebytes

Were you ever able to open the ‘email’?

Besides Airbnb telling you that she claimed that your dog bit her, what else did they say? Is the guest requesting a cancelation with full refund?

If Airbnb said that the guest is requesting a refund, I would write something like:

“You tell me that this guest claims to have been bitten by my dog but sofar as I know has presented no evidence to support that claim – no examination by a physician (which is crucial), no police report, no call to Animal Control. I cannot prove a negative. It would be a poor policy for Airbnb to give a refund to every guest by simply accepting an unsupported claim that they were bitten by the Host’s dog. No refund should be given.”

Others surely here will have guidance. You might want to wait a day or so before writing Airbnb so that you have the benefit of others’ advice here on the forum.

I can’t think of what you could have done to prevent this or to give you evidence supporting your facts. Someone who has been bitten, with blood drawn, ideally should see their doctor to monitor for infection. They should also call the police and get Animal Control involved to determine if your dog has had its rabies vaccination. If they didn’t do those things that of course is not necessarily evidence against them: they might not have money for medical care or be aware of what to do. But it is the alleged victim who could easily have evidence and present it.

For you, it’s impossible to prove a negative.


Does the guest have a bill from urgent care? If she was bitten then she would have seeked medical care.

My own dog bite me once on the arm and I went to the doctor. It was superficial, not a deep wound, but since he broke the skin I was given antibiotics.

If she has no proof, then it’s her word against your word. Unfortunately, Airbnb usually sides with the guest so they might close your account. I imagine your insurance carrier would require proof. I don’t think she went to urgent care because she has not requested reimbursement for her medical bill.

Don’t agree to any payment. It does seem like some kind of scam but not a very sophisticated one. Airbnb and the hosting landscape has changed in the last 3 years. Try to spend some time here on the forum to get back on top of things.


@lauras0323 Sounds as if she didn’t like the barking dog and then lied to get her money back.

No way would I accept a same-day, week-long booking from a guest with no reviews.

@HostAirbnbVRBO Certain depts. do send emails, not Airbnb messages.





Definitely seems like a scam to me.

1 Like

My dog, a rescue barks when someone wants to come in, but she is fine once people are inside. So she gets to chill in the guest bathroom (where she is so quiet I sometimes forget to get her after a few minutes) until our meet & greet. Once everybody is nocely settled in, they get to meet the dog.
It gives new guests a much better impression than a dog that barks and barks.

Your last minute guest felt uncomfortable and left, sadly without feeling comfortable enough to raise her concerns. I would refund.
You also want to get this ‘safety’ issue go away fast.


I’ve never seen an email from Airbnb, it’s always come in the form of a message through the app. I’m fairly new to this tho and don’t get complaints really.

I gotta say, looking at this from the eyes of the guest I would not feel comfortable. Being greeted with a barking dog is not fun. Maybe they felt the only way to get out of this situation and get their money back is to lie?

Check your settings, and you can check ‘emails’ so you get them.

1 Like

Some Airbnb depts. send emails, not Airbnb messages. You get those regardless of whether you have email checked in your notification settings.

1 Like