Were all 3 requests for the same dates? As many others have mentioned they could have been the same person. I think it’s equally as likely that they were separate people, just new to the platform. We all know that new listings get a bump in search rankings for several weeks, and there are numerous other factors that affect how you appear in search. It’s possible that there’s some other factor that’s attracting these shady characters.
Do you have detailed house rules? I used to be laid back and didn’t list appropriate behavior in detail because I assumed the best in people, and quite frankly didn’t feel like writing out a huge long list. But after a few weird/uncomfortable experiences, I added more rules explaining behaviors that are not acceptable in our home, and that seemed to help deter requests without messaging. It wasn’t immediately obvious to me what to include as house rules when I started, because I didn’t know which behaviors would actually bother me. Once I had a few “OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE MY GUEST IS DOING THIS” moments, I knew those were the things to add to house rules. As you’ll learn on this forum, some things that bug the crap out of one host are completely benign to another host. A good set of rules can also attract more quality respectful guests, as they are likely to feel more safe in an environment where they know your values (rules) match their own. Just a thought.
I have another theory that the search algorithm pairs new guest accounts with new host accounts, so new hosts are more likely to appear in search results for recently created guest accounts. Maybe some combination of these factors caused you to get a few bad apples in a row, and I also think you did the right thing by declining them. Unfortunately declining does decrease your search position, but I wouldn’t worry about that too much. Your HOME is at risk if something goes south. It’s possible that any of those guests could have been wonderful, but you really never know with strangers on the internet. In my opinion, it’s better to be seen by fewer guests (when your search ranking decreases due to declining) than to accept a request from someone who makes you uneasy, and possibly be faced with an uncomfortable situation in your own home.