Very new I getting scammed?

We operate a single villa as an Bed and Breakfast here in Costa Rica.
I just joined as a host in order to fill in gaps in our calendar, it is not turning out to be our best year.
My questions is about the folks requesting our place and my radar is way up.
I’ve received three requests since listing two days ago.
All are from pretty young woman who say they are traveling with a husband, finance or boyfriend.
OK, no big deal.
The first asked if she could book with a credit card and then pay in cash.
I told her that Airbnb did not work that way…etc.
She ended up calling me somehow…found my website???, sounded great, and apologetic and nice. I told her we could book her but we needed full payment and then I never heard back.
I just got another from a woman who said her hotel in our town cancelled her…I looked on the web site, and they are not fully booked.
We have ZERO reviews as we are very new and we charge $350 per night for a one bedroom for two people
I am super surprised to be getting any requests at our price point to be honest…but I figured I’d try.
My radar is up. Is there something I need to be watching out for?
Obviously the one that wanted to pay in cash is a red flag…but are there other scams to watch for?

There seem to be no end for scams. Last minute bookings [for a place with your price point], single women booking a two or three bedroom apartment, anyone who doesn’t have a few AirBNB verifications, anyone who will not give you names of their travel companions, … and I am sure that there are far more. Anecdotal stories on here indicate that bachelor or bridal parties, weddings, photography sessions, and just plain prostitution are the biggest offenders. These things seem to be more of a problem if you are off-site.

Sounds like you have a good radar. Just be vigilant.

And post your listing! I am considering Costa Rica, though $350 a night is probably out of my league.

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Really? 350$ a night in Costa Rica? My question is why you put your price so high if you don’t even expect anyone’s interest? I am sorry but that makes no sence to me.
I am not sure that anyone is scamming you. People inquire and don’t book all the time. It’s not an unusual situation
I personally like cash very much.

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Ok, so that was of no help at all.

Pardon, but I must agree and question the rate. $350 a night…are you super high end luxury and/or beachfront?

Getting inquiries from guests who don’t ultimately book is normal. Pretty young women are normal. (But often they are older and not as pretty when they arrive - we like to have nice profile pics!)

Some people want to book off the platform and you were right to refuse them - but it happens. Regarding the woman who said her hotel had cancelled on her, I’d ask why? Was it a problem with her credit card? Was she travelling with a dog and the hotel wasn’t pet friendly?

Don’t worry about having no reviews - we all had to start somewhere. You can always get a friend or relative to write a recommendation for you which might help.

Yes, there are always scams but the guests you mentioned don’t seem to be particularly scammy. Even the one who wanted to go off the platform is probably someone who doesn’t understand the system.

Don’t let this put you off hosting on Airbnb though!

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Yes, we are very luxurious, private pool, gourmet custom breakfasts, airport transportation, private villa with a private waterfall and spa pavilion…we have rented out our place for more then the $350 mentioned and have many clients return each year…yes, at these prices. I’d love to show you the web site, but it seems in bad taste , or against Airbnb rules maybe…again, new to all of this. My point is that we are getting requests that have zero questions, zero back and forth…just “me and my boyfriend want to book it” and in the first case “can I just pay you directly”…not used to booking this way…maybe that’s all it is. We are used to giving lots of customer service even before the bookings are solidified…

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For sure, post it! We would love to peek at the lifestyles of the rich and richer! :smiley:

You will know the serious customers when they do book. Of course the cash one was a no-go. Ignore the bogus ones. You can answer or decline when they enquire.

You may not be a proper fit for the typical Air traveler…?? but then again I could be so wrong.

Where or how have you typically marketed the villa before?

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Ok, so here we are:
I do get that $350 is not seen so much on Airbnb for a one bedroom…I NEVER travel and spend that much…EVER…but this is what we offer and a neighbor offers her vacation rental home on Airbnb at way more than us and does well, so I figured I’d try it out.
Nothing at all against “pretty woman”…the requests just flew in and then the cash offer…and so here I am asking.
Thanks for the insights.

I read this bit and it makes me think you are more a five star resort offering than a typical Airbnb rental. You offer full service resort amenities. That’s not typical I wouldn’t think.

Is this a vacation rental? No, it is not. With a vacation rental your are left, for the most part, to fend for yourselves. When you are staying in our Villa you are taken care of at the same level as any upscale hotel or bed and breakfast. We provide daily breakfast, daily cleaning, local airport transportation (Quepos Airport) and all day concierge services to help to enjoy our local area and all of it’s activities. As well we are available 24 hours a day if the need arises.

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No, not really a “resort”… it is very much “like” a vacation rental being run as a Bed and Breakfast…they are left on their own for the most part, but we are always available if they need us. Some guests we see at breakfast one day, and do not see them again until the next morning’s breakfasts. Others end up here in our home cooking dinner with us…we never know…but we are both chefs, massage therapists, and have a lot of background in the hospitality business so we like to throw whatever we can at them
By the way, we took the last listing…she seems great, so we will see.
Again, we really rely on our customer service here, and normally have a few emails with clients before any money exchanges hands, so we are not at al;l used to getting reservations with payments (well at least payments in the coffers of Airbnb) with someone who has not asked us a questions or heard anything from us. Old fashioned customer service…guess we need to get ready for the future…


I have had a couple of people last minute bookings with no questions and am sure they are hookers! So listen to your inner vice I would say.


Is $350 a night that unusual on AirBNB, or are these questions coming up due to $350 a night in Costa Rica? These places are all within 3 miles of my place.

No fancy digs. No massage. No breakfast.

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so… which one is that? You did rent it or you did not? You said first you did not expect to rent t at all and just wanted to try it out and then you are saying that you rented for even more. I think for Costa rica even with private water fall, one bedroom for 2 people is outrageuos price. we know someone here who for even less money rents out the whole island in Belize. Small, but an island.

But of course if you did in fact rent it out before that good for you.

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are you comparing Boston area to Costa Rica?

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I am asking a question…

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OMG… Your inner voice! I meant to say!


If you use the same photos on your AirBNB as you do on your website then a guest could search the photos on Google.

You will get a “bump” from AirBNB when you first list. This isn’t unusual.

Also, some people get a lot of inquiries that don’t turn into bookings. This also isn’t unusual.

There are always scammers on every platform. Just keep your radar up. If it doesn’t sound/feel right then reject the guest. We only accept guests that have been verified by AirBNB. Other hosts require government ID to be provided before a guest’s stay starts.

Best of luck.

Central America is in general very inexpensive. There is no comparison to North America in prices. Costa Rica 4 years ago when i went there was very affordable and everything there was 3 times cheaper than in US. I heard lately that prices went up significantly, but still i am sure prices there are supposed to be lower than in US. It has nothing to do with AIrbnb. Its only location that counts.

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Those places in Mass. look pretty fancy to me! And large. They also take many guests. So do you think the Costa Rica’s point of price is high in comparison? The breakfasts might be inclusive, but massages aren’t free I would imagine.