Fake Airbnb Reviews

If you are looking to book a family vacation or just some time away by yourself, you may be thinking about using the popular booking site Airbnb. You may also be somewhat wary of the potential for fake Airbnb reviews. You do not want to arrive at a location and find that the room is anything but how it was advertised. Keep reading for more information on the subject.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • If you are concerned about fake Airbnb reviews, start by avoiding new accounts with no reviews at all.
  • You should also reach out directly to the lister to gauge their professionalism and to sniff out anything that feels off.
  • Also, ask for more photos of the property. If they do not have more photos, the original photos could have been faked.

What is Airbnb?

Airbnb is a room-booking platform that allows consumers to eschew the traditional hotel marketplace during travel. Folks can rent out their entire home when they are away to make a few extra bucks, or simply rent out a spare room for days at a time. Airbnb can also be used for long-term stays in certain instances.

Insider Tip

Airbnb is a room-booking platform that allows consumers to eschew the traditional hotel marketplace during travel.

Are There Fake Airbnb Reviews?

Yes, as is the case with most e-commerce platforms, no matter the service provided, fake reviews can be a problem. In the case of Airbnb, fake reviews of a room or house can ruin a vacation for an unsuspecting consumer. The company is hyper-vigilant when it comes to fake reviews, instituting several policies to help curb their existence, but no system is perfect and some scams fall through the cracks.

How to Spot Fake Airbnb Reviews

Here are some tips to avoid fake Airbnb reviews and to ensure that your travel experience goes smoothly. In other words, here are tips to make sure you get the room you paid for.

Avoid New Accounts

While the great majority of new accounts are entirely legitimate, they have not been properly vetted by Airbnb or its consumers. If the listing seems glorious, but the lister has zero reviews and seems new to the game, it may be too good to be true. Generally speaking, when Airbnb deletes or bans users after they have been caught making fake reviews, these users will just make new accounts and try to start the scam over again. One positive thing is how the FTC challenges fake reviews.

Start a Conversation With a Lister

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a lister to start a conversation about the property. As you talk, you will be able to gauge whether or not they seem like a scam artist or not. Make sure to ask for even more photos of the property and anything else that seems useful for your travels. You should also inquire if they have other properties and you can also reach out to other customers that have stayed at one of their properties. The same applies if you really want to know a fake Glassdoor review.

Warning

If the listing seems glorious, but the lister has zero reviews and seems new to the game, it may be too good to be true.

F.A.Q.

Is buying reviews on Airbnb cheap?

There are many companies that offer to write fake reviews and post them to various sites, and the prices vary wildly.


How can you identify scam listings on Airbnb?

The best method is to simply grill the lister over and over for photos, information, and anything else that can help prove that the listing is not a scam.


What to do if you suspect a scam?

Reach out to Airbnb directly via the app or by calling up the customer service line.



STAT: While Airbnb doesn’t publicly share the exact percentage of fraudulent listings on its site, it says that fraudulent issues “are incredibly rare” among the 2 million people who check into an Airbnb every night. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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