Airbnb scam

Old Jan 10th, 2016, 12:36 PM
  #161  
 
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A FlipKey apartment owner just responded to my inquiry and told me she only accepts cash. That's it. Cash. She doesn't want any deposit money, just bring her the entire balance due upon check in. In cash. SIGH.....

And this is the property that has over 50 positive traveler reviews!

What's the point of a site like FlipKey that allows for secure CC online payment, when the owner of the property you're interested in only accepts cash. And, by the way, once a direct cash payment is made to the owner (upon check in), FlipKey doesn't guarantee the rental.

Catch 22.

To add to my frustration, the majority of the other properties on FlipKey that I'm interested in that can be paid for online through their site.....have zero traveler reviews!

Back to the drawing board!
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 12:45 PM
  #162  
 
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Hence, the popularity of the Airbnb system. I find if I ponder an issue for a while, I can accommodate (no pun intended) the details that were unfamiliar to me, causing me to hesitate. I believe the problem is changing the way we do things and maybe not the thing itself. I do know that after using Airbnb for years now, I don't bother with any of the others, most especially the cash requirements.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 01:02 PM
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MmePerdu - are you a host on Airbnb as well as a renter?

I re-read the Airbnb requirements and it does say that there are alternatives to providing a copy of a passport or driver license in some instances. I'm going to look into that further.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 01:06 PM
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Yes, I am, host and renter. My guests provide my travel money and other Airbnb hosts collect it. I think that's what's called a symbiotic relationship!
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 01:10 PM
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hahaha...that was funny!

I am in a real quandary about this, and since we travel at the end of March, I fear time is running out!
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 01:13 PM
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I suggest you put it aside for a day or 2, give yourself a rest from all of it. Come back with a clear head. A day or 2 won't make any significant difference. Got a good thriller to read?
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 01:20 PM
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Well, wouldn't ya know.....I was able to answer some questions and Airbnb verified me without any need to provide passport or license information.

I can now go research Airbnb!
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 01:24 PM
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Excellent. Also, March is low season so there won't be as much competition for rentals. You can take your time and really read over the listings thoroughly.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 01:42 PM
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Ah....but....it is Easter week, we arrive in Rome Easter Monday, so I need to decide quickly!

So many choices!
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 01:45 PM
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Narrow down the choices, if you haven't already, by price at the top and size and amenities just below. Neighborhood too, if it specifies, or you can use the map, zoom in on likely areas and it will only show what's available in that map section.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 01:49 PM
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Also, be and check the "entire home/apt" box if it's an apartment you want. "More filters" is where other choices are.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 01:51 PM
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MmePerdu, thanks so much for your reply! I didn't know where else to ask about that issue than here! Didn't find anything on the Airbnb site.

I am vaguely thinking of a Tokyo rental and street addresses there leave a bit to be desired...so was wondering what to do if I got lost and needed to contact host....
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 02:05 PM
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You'll get the host's phone number with your booking confirmation.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 02:08 PM
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I have rented an apartment in Venice via AirBnB for next september, and I have paid Air BnB via credit card.

So AirBnB are holding money and that is Ok

How does the money get released to the owner when I arrive and accept the apartment? I am not anticipating a problem, just curious. It my first ever AirBnB booking.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 02:09 PM
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They'll automatically be paid by the site the day after your arrival.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 02:59 PM
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To add a bit of clarity to an issue that was mentioned earlier, i.e., how to trust the photos on the property's site. Airbnb has an advantage here in that the company contracts with local professional photographers to take photos of each property free of charge for the host. As you scroll the the photos of each rental you will see the little Airbnb logo (sort of a squiggly triangle) in the upper right hand corner of each such shot, which indicates it was taken by Airbnb. We had them do it for our rental room and, at least in our case, no trick wide angle/fish eye lenses or other tricks were used. Good, honest snaps. What you see is what you get, IME.

Now, I admit that not all of the photos on our listing were taken by an Airbnb photographer. I put up a few of my own that were taken from the balcony, on a brighter day, of the view of passing ships in the channel below, for instance. Not deceptive, just more attractive.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 03:25 PM
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Nukesafe, I'm not sure the logo does indicate the photos were taken by an Airbnb-contracted photographer. Going through the listings near me, the professional photos are obvious but those clearly of poorer quality and presumably uploaded by the hosts also show the logo. Sometimes very faintly, depending on what's in that corner of the photo, but always, or almost always there. I think it may be there to indicate the website source of the picture.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 03:25 PM
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We have taken rentals that require cash. We did not carry it around long, just got it out of an atm machine on arrival in the city. We then take a taxi to the apartment so we are not walking around looking for the place with the money. Lots of people do it, so not unusual and you don't have to carry the money around earlier in your trip.

With Airbnb, your host does not get a copy of your passport for verification, just as you do not get one from them. It is kept by Airbnb as assurance for both owner and renter.

Once you are booked, any information you and the owner need or want to exchange is fine. It is done through the Airbnb site. You need it for the owner to know when to meet you, etc. Having all possible info is important, for the very reason you asked about finding a place. At one rental, we had the owner's cell phone and the address of the apartment. Due to delays, we arrived in the evening rather than the morning. No problem. We called her directly. She was very accommodating. Then, we arrived and even the taxi driver could not find the apartment. Another call to the owner and she guided him.

So, all of that is worked out in correspondence with the owner through the Airbnb website. Unless there is a very determined scammer, staying within the site and making sure you feel totally comfortable when you correspond with the owner, it should be a good experience.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 03:38 PM
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A heads up. You probably remember from your other times in Italy that the hotel was required to either hold on to your passport or make copies to register you as a visitor. The apartment owner will need to do the same, so make a few copies before you leave home.
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Old Jan 10th, 2016, 08:43 PM
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Whoops, you are quite correct, MmePerdu! I just checked the pictures on my listing, and sure enough the Airbnb logo is on all of them, even the ones I know I took and put up myself.

My bad!
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