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Suspicious activity by last guest

#1

We just had a new ‘situation’ with a guest. First ‘suspicion’ was he didn’t have a ‘FACE PHOTO’ on his profile & when I requested he submit one he ignored the request. I then researched that I could ‘cancel’ his reservation with no penalty to me if I have this box ‘checked’ to require a face photo & the guest won’t supply one. So I told him if he shows up without submitting a face photo I will ask him to submit a photo ID when he arrives before he will be allowed inside our home (we live here…this is our home). He immediately sent a photo on Airbnb’s message center so I allowed him to check in. Cameras caught him prowling around our front sitting room where guests enter our home. It appeared he was looking for something (cameras, I suspect). He spent a great deal of time doing this before calling it a night. This morning, he was doing the same thing along with going in & out the front door, pacing nervously on the front porch, head bobbing up & down between the street & his cell phone. Then we caught a FedEx truck pulling up to the house & the guest ran out to sign for the package & receive it. A few minutes after the FedEx truck left, a white car pulled up & the guest ran out to the car & gave the package to someone in the passenger side of the car & the car immediately sped off with no time for any discussion with the guest. Very suspicious. I confronted the guest & he was incredibly nervous & didn’t really want to talk to me & I told him, ‘No more packages.’ He said, in very broken English, “Ah, yes, more packages today.” I told him, “NO. You are not allowed to receive packages here & certainly not allowed to give our address out freely to strangers.” This made him even more nervous. So later, he got in his car that was parked in front of our house, backed the car up the block & just sat in his car. He waited for the next package which was soon delivered by UPS. He ran up to the UPS driver, showed his ID & took the package. The UPS driver noted that he took the package up to his car & the driver went up & confronted the guy then went back to his truck. I ran out & confronted the UPS driver & said that I didn’t know what was going on but that this guy is an Airbnb guest of ours & that was the second package he had received. The UPS driver said he also recognized that the guy was super nervous. I asked if he could tell me the name of the guy receiving the package & he gave me the guy’s name that was on his ID, “Peter Lin”. I told the driver that was NOT the name he has on his Airbnb profile & that I it appeared something suspicious was going on. He agreed. The guest didn’t bring any luggage…just a small paper bag & a pair of slip on shoes. After the guest received the UPS package & saw me talking to the UPS guy, he sped away in his car & did not return. I contacted Airbnb & discussed the situation & told them we were not comfortable with this guest & shared the story. They told me sometimes people use ‘alias’ names but the rep agreed that this sounded suspicious & he changed his reservation to one night instead of 2 nights (which is our minimum). After this, I was forced to add to ‘house rules’…“NO RECEIVING PACKAGES from online retailers while you are guests in our home. Take out food delivery is fine, however.” I will also send notes to guests who are required to contact me for a reservation informing them that if they do not have a clear, face photo on their profile after I accept their reservation, I will cancel their reservation. We want to make sure the person who booked the reservation is the person who shows up to our home. Not perfect, but a little more protective layering. The guest who stayed with us has a profile name of, “King Tang”, in case other hosts in the LA area are curious. Wondering if anyone else thinks this kind of situation would set of any alarms or are we being overly paranoid? Cheers & thanks

#2

Sounds like he rented your place to receive a shipment of some drugs or something illegal.

#3

I would make an informational report to law enforcement with all these facts and give them all the video. I hate to sound alarmist but he could be ordering bomb making parts for all you know.

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#4

Good eye and sleuthing skills!

This falls into “if you see something, say something”. You know this guy is ordering something more dangerous or illegal than an xxl dildo he doesn’t want his mom to find in the mail. I second the advice of sending video on to police. The name on the package was probably no more real than the booking name.

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#5

My thoughts, exactly…

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#6

Man, THAT is a weird one. I, too, would call the police.

#7

If he comes back tomorrow, call the police and tell them there is a prowler around your home. He will be trespassing.

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#8

You never know where you are with guests receiving packages so it’s best to guard against it. It’s a good idea to tell the UPS man that anything that’s delivered to your address has to go to you personally. Our UPS man and the FedEx lady know to bring everything in our complex to me. (Much to the annoyance of other residents but still…)

We also have a locking mailbox which means that I get to see any mail that might come for guests before they do.

On the whole, I’ve found that guests who are receiving legitimate parcels (from Amazon for example) always let me know in advance so I think you’re right to think that this guy was up to no good. Still, he’s gone now.

2 Likes
#9

The minute he received the first package and handed it off I would have called 911. You might have been able to assist with a drug bust. Take to heart what @jaquo said and get to know the mail carrier and UPS and Fedex delivery folks for your street, and tell them that all packages MUST come to and be signed for you. In my rules it says

Guests may not receive mail or packages at our address, or give it to anyone who might mail anything to our address, including for voter registration, for a driver’s license, or to obtain any government benefits. Any mail or packages addressed to guests that are delivered to the house will be returned to the sender marked “Unknown at this address”.

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#10

Someone hacked into an online account of mine once and ordered a computer and printer; of course it was addressed not to me, but to a house about 10 miles away. I got the order confirmation in my email (which was at that moment being deluged with about 1000 spam emails per minute in the hope that I would miss this one in the avalanche) and I wonder if this guest was doing something similar. I canceled the order but then drove to the house and parked across the street. A huge apartment complex was right across the street, with dozens of windows overlooking the house. What was stopping someone in there from doing some sort of credit card fraud and ordering stuff, then just watching for it and grabbing it off the open front porch of the address across the street? I knocked on the door and saw people peeking through drapes and no one answered. All in all, a very creepy experience.

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