Warning to those of us who share our homes with guests…a guest stole my credit card number from my wallet and is now using it. I shut off the credit card and got the charge reversed, but from now on I will lock my purse in my bedroom. I had a guest a couple of weeks ago who told me they were from West Palm Beach FL but their profile didn’t say so. Last night someone called Domino’s in West Palm Beach, gave the card number over the phone, and had a pizza delivered. AirBnb has been very supportive. They want me to file a police report, get the police to get the delivery address from the Dominos, give us the name, and shut them out of AirBnb. Unfortunately I have a lot of short term guests so it is hard to track it down. I have to file a police report here, then the police have to forward it to West Palm Beach for follow up. Which I doubt they will do. I have been hosting since March and this is my second theft. One of my first guests stole all of my prescription medications which were well hidden in my master closet. I thought it was a fluke. But now I am installing a lock on my bedroom door and securing computer, purse, etc. in my locked bedroom.
So sorry this happened to you! Not once you’ve had things stolen, but twice!
Puts a real damper on the ability to be an open and friendly host!
Thanks…makes it hard to be friendly and say a cheerful goodby to the 4 guests who are here right now…
Installing lock the minute they leave.
Don’t wait until they leave — install the locks NOW! Third time is NOT the charm!!!
I agree with @KenH. It will also send a silent “I’m on to you” message to the guilty party.
See if the owner of the Domino’s location comes in during the mornings or something (when it’s not busy) and try to talk to him about it so he can go back to that address and collect the money, and suggest to him to let the thieves know if they don’t pay him (and extra for his time) he will be pursuing criminal charges against them. Or maybe the two of you can work with the police together.
If your bank did a reversal and if they charged the Domino’s owner a chargeback fee on top of the reversal…he should be pretty fired up.
Hopefully he will be willing to share the phone number and address with you, and you can search the internet. Have you looked up the guy who said he was from West Palm even though his profile didn’t say it? I’d start with him first. Does the internet show he has a connection to that city?
BTW - are you in the U.S.?
What checks do you do on guests staying with you. Do you ask for verified ID? Do you ask them about why they chose your place and what brings them to your area? When sharing your home it’s particularly important that you check your guest out before confiriming a booking.
To be honest I don’t understand why you called Airbnb before you called the police. And how you know it is this guest? And that it was used in Domino’s?
Airbnb can liaise directly the police for the information they need. Why don’t Airbnb know who the guest is - they will be able to see from your booking.
Airbnb lawyers will probably not recommend proactive behavior in case like this. They would wait for a subpoena before they gave any information.
This happens all the time. I think they hack into databases. However, I think the title of this thread should change or maybe it should be removed?
So now you are second guessing yourself? Just stop! It’s hardly a coincidence that all of these deadbeats are running around within the same ring. Loser circle of friends run with loser circles.
I’d NEVER let Airbnb guests in my home without a lock on my bedroom door (from Day #1). It’s really nice to extend trust, but the fact is, we’re letting total strangers into our homes, and some small percentage of them will be people who steal, suffer addictions, have unpredictable personalities, etc. Unfortunately, humans don’t come with warning labels, and there’s no reliable appearance or behavioral stereotype that we can use to predict who will do unethical things in our homes. I have locks on my bedroom, guest rooms, linen closets, and my laundry/utility room. Even with the locks, careful screening, and the check-in “gut check,” linens, pillows, comforters, blankets, and cookware have gone missing from guest rooms and common areas. I inventory before and after each check-in/out, so sometimes, I’m able to catch it and charge their deposit (at which point they either deny, deny, deny or claim to have mistakenly packed my things). Other times, I miss it, such as when they leave their cheap shit pillow inside my zippered pillow protector and pillowcase and take my expensive down pillow home. I’ve started writing the name of my Airbnb on these items so my housekeepers and I can catch such replacements more quickly. To be clear, this doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does happen, it’s so upsetting and sometimes, expensive, that it has a big impact on my morale and budget. All to say: lock up what you can, inventory and label what you can’t, and never let theft go without docking the deposit. Sigh. So sorry you had to learn it the hard way and have your idealism and trust abused. I agree with others who have said put the lock on the door now, not after they leave.
I have locked nothing at all. The guests don’t lock their doors either. I figure an ancient skeleton key wouldn’t stop anyone who was determined. After all, a simply hammer and you can take the door off the hinges. Why make my house uncomfortable for me for a tiny bit less risk?
And yes, I understand that that risk is too much for some and they should feel free to put deadbolts throughout their house.
Locks buy you time and even a cheap one is a pain to break, so keeps out all but the most determined.
To each her own, for sure. Like all decisions we make with our Airbnbs, the decision about locks is contextual and personal. In a context where you rent multiple rooms to multiple travelers, in a shared guesthouse, located in a major urban area, as I do, locks are more important than they might be in a context where you rent out only one room in your own house. I would never host without locking rooms, and I don’t like staying in homes without locking rooms, for so many reasons. Just to mention a few:
Safety. How do I know, as a traveler, whether my host’s drunk ex-boyfriend or drug-addict son is going to walk into my room, or whether the guy in the other room is a perv?
Security. When you don’t have a lock on your Airbnb room, guests have to add to their stress and logistics overload the question of whether they can leave their expensive electronics, spare cash, and passport in the room. If they’re going walking in urban areas at night, they may not want to keep these things on their person or in their car. If their room locks, and something goes missing, it limits the number of possibilities about what might have happened. Even if it’s a one room Airbnb, shared only with the host, the guest doesn’t know who else has access to the house.
Privacy. Even without the security or safety issues, many travelers want some assurance that no one is going to enter their room while they’re out. They want to be able to leave their undies or lingerie on the bed, their condoms on the nightstand, etc., without worrying about embarrassment. Of course, the host has a key to a locking room, but, it’s easier to trust that a host won’t go around unlocking guest doors (or just accept and tolerate that), than to wonder if other guests are going to curiously poke their heads in, and who else has access to the house. In a house shared with other guests, women may have concerns about invasions of privacy by men staying in the house (for example).
Host Peace of Mind. As a host who offers multiple rooms in a shared house, it’s important to my peace of mind to not have to worry that I’ll have a drama between guests about intrusions or theft. If something goes missing from a guest’s room, and the door has a lock, then I know, for sure, the guest misplaced it.
Without a lock, I have to wonder whether another guest took it (talk about a review drama!). This did happen once, in a friend’s Airbnb I was helping to manage while she was ill, and the guest found their misplaced laptop AFTER accusing other guests and calling the police. It was almost a nightmare scenario. My friends installed guest room door locks immediately thereafter.
Regarding the type of lock, comments about deadbolts, padlocks, and such create an unnecessarily extreme image. Doorknobs do come with keyed locks. My guests routinely tell me how much they appreciate having locking doors, especially young females traveling alone.
And, sure, if someone really wants to break into a room, they will. But as we all really do already know, most thefts and nosy or pervy intrusions are opportunistic, and no one is going to break down a door in the middle of the night without alerting everyone else in the house and winding up in jail.
Regarding theft of the host’s things, before I installed locks on my supply closets, I lost over $1,000 worth of linens, pillows, and comforters; and around $600 worth of back stocked coffee beans; around $200 worth of zippered pillowcase covers. Since I installed the small, unobtrusive locks, I’ve lost nothing.
Last point: Yes, most guests are awesome people who would never consider entering another guest’s room, stealing from you or other guests, etc. But when you encounter that one creepy or klepto guest, will you regret not spending $50 on a locking doorknob to spare you and your guest a trauma or an expensive equipment replacement, and your listing a devastating review? I know I would. But I don’t have to worry about that, because I have locks.
You are correct. I would never rent to multiple groups.
I hate that it happened. I appreciate you sharing and reinforcing that we should consider locking our belongings. Not all people lock doors and that is their choice—whatever works for them.
I regret that your trust of your fellow man was taken advantage of.
My credit card info was stolen at a nice restaurant. Foolish me shared that we having a day trip to attend a broadway travel company’s play which meant I was really sharing between 2-4 my phone would be off and I was away from home. Between 2-4 the thief paid their utilities, made several on-line purchases and more. They stole my friend’s credit card too and made charges.