Scams by guests

Clean freak or Scammer ?

Any similar experiences by other hosts out there ?

I had a guest who had great reviews ( over 20 all sounding positive ) . I accepted without question .
He brought his wife and two small kids . This was over my occupancy limit but he said he would bring cribs etc and would be grateful etc .
He took a brief look in the am and seemed happy having been given a key .
They returned later when I was out and apparently found the place too dirty to actually stay there .
They asked for a refund stating I had mis-described the place as it was too dirty .They were only booked for a single night and I wasn’t that bothered though my partner was a little upset as she had cleaned the place thoroughly to her ( and all previous guests ) satisfaction .
I gave them a refund but didn’t accept what they said as true . They messaged me saying they would not write me a review if I did not write one for them . I agreed .

My thoughts are
If I had accepted my place was dirty would I have been asked to pay for their alternate accommodation
He had 20 plus reviews though mostly for him as a single traveler yet only 14 host recommendations - Does this mean that seven or so who wrote positive reviews yet didn’t recommend them really thought differently ? .
Looking at his profile I could not understand why he was traveling and staying for only a single night with two children under 3 ? Suspicious or am I being paranoid ?

I still cant decide if they were genuinely mortified by my homes cleanliness so much they had to move out or were scammers who were thwarted by my refusal to admit liability .

Hopefully I will hear no more for them and if they are genuine I wish them well but I am also slightly concerned that something will follow from them - possibly a bad last minute review or a claim for compensation . If so I will repost and add to this post .

Any other hosts had similar or worse experiences out there ?

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Sounds to me his wife did not want to stay at your place so dirty was just an excuse to get a refund.


The not review exchange thing is a violation of the TOS. I would not have refunded. Let them try to prove it was dirty enough for Air to refund.


My feeling is that if a guest wants to cancel or get a refund, THEY need to be the one to contact AirBnB and do the work. I’m amazed by how often I hear stories about hosts bending over backwards to cancel bookings at the guest’s request, or giving refunds when they aren’t obligated to do so.

As for not leaving reviews, I would never negotiate not leaving a review. If a guest is a bad guest, I almost feel like it’s my duty to leave a bad review so as to warn other potential hosts.


Hi @Jon_Hinchliffe

Knowing your place is clean, why on earth did you refund the guest (through Airbnb I hope)?

I can understand why your partner was upset.

In your situation I would have photographed every room. Messaged the guest to confirm that the place was personally cleaned by your partner and up to the excellent standard it had been on previous stays as evidenced by your great reviews (presuming you have those). Then I would have called Airbnb.

If they didn’t stay they can’t leave a review and neither can you.


Agreed with others here. If your guests weren’t happy, it is on them to initiate claim if they want to be refunded. I wouldn’t let the fear of a bad review loom over me if I haven’t done anything wrong.

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I would neither refunded them, or not posted a review. It is up to them to prove your place was so filthy that they couldn’t stay. Highly unlikely right? Wondering if all his good reviews are for him as a solo traveller or if they are for his family?

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Wait until the last minute, write them a review and burn them to the ground…

This is clearly a scammer, and other hosts should be warned.

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I was in Vegas and it was only $ 55 . I thought a bad review would cost me more

For whatever reason they decided to leave, leave they did . The refund ( through air bandb ) was only $ 50.00 and as I was in Vegas and my partner was at work when they left I thought this was the easiest option . Should I contact airbandb with my concerns so other hosts know what to expect ?

Unfortunately it’s a little late @Jon_Hinchliffe . If your guests didn’t stay neither of you can leave a review.

You could have disputed it at the time but you chose to give them a refund.

I know you are a long time host but it’s worth reminding yourself of how Airbnb works in these situations. Do have a read through their Help Centre - they change how things work so often. Particularly have a look at guest and host cancellations.

If you have been given an opportunity to review call Airbnb and remind them the guest didn’t stay.

The guest stayed for an hour and indeed Airbnb are still reminding me to leave a review , The guest didnt cancel just asked ( and got ) a full refund under the “not as described get out” For me Im not bothered but my worry is they may be scam artists and do this regularly . I suspect if I had not disputed their claim of too dirty they might have claimed against me for the cost of wherever they went to when they left mine .

On taking a better look his reviews were mostly for him , his booking was for one guest though he came with wife and two kids . Do you know why he would have had 20 plus good reviews but only 14 recommendations ? That still puzzles me

I don’t think it matters if you wait til the last minute. There’s an extra 14 days after a review is published to allow a response

Yes, to leave a response, but not to leave a review.

A response does not turn up in your reviews.

I have thought long and hard and Im 50 50 between his wife being a clean freak and its a scam . So far they have made nothing off me other than a brief stay so unless I thwarted their plans by refusing to admit liability a pretty useless scam . Also why go to the effort of arriving with the wife and kids ? Makes no sense .

Good to know - thanks for that

Good point

(20 characters)

It has nothing to do with the room being clean, it was probably something else that they (or the wife) did not like.

The “cleanliness card” is a the “get out of jail for free card” of AirBnB. The guest can use it, and get out of the booking with not penalties and it is very hard for the host to disprove the claim.

Maybe you did not lose any money about this, but still you should warn future hosts about this behaviour.


Your own deduction seems to suggest it’s not a scam. On reading the original post, I thought, they said it was dirty, asked for a refund to compensate, but still stayed the night.
If they left right away, what did they gain from this? Especially, as you say, dragging the kids along and everything.

The only thing that makes this look like a scam is this:

It’s probably a bit late now, but the only way they can be found out is to report this behavior to Airbnb and get them to check if this guest has a left a pattern with previous hosts (who you don’t know of because of the mutual non-review deal) but some of whom Airbnb, if they get to it, will have to contact to find out.
Still, this is all far-fetched, it was probably the fussy wife who didn’t like the color of your walls.