I was new and excited about getting Airbnb reservations so when a new inquiry came up I thought nothing of it and accepted the reservation right away. Once that happened, Airbnb sent me more information about the potential guest: one verification (always scary since you can easily get a scam email address) and zero reviews. He was new to Airbnb and from Guantanamo of all places.
I did a search on his name and Guantanamo and found that there was a guy in prison there with a similar name. Scam flags went up. I started emailing him and sent a message of concern to Airbnb about the potential scam. The first name was that of a renowned single name terrorist many years ago. The second name was exactly the same as the last name of an incarcerated terrorist at Guantanamo.
I started emailing him and he had some good answers. I asked if he could get a government ID verified. Isn’t an email of concern to Airbnb that there might be a scammer out there? He wrote back and said it was too hard so I cancelled the reservation (it turned out that later that day he got it verified). I was willing to take the Airbnb cancellation penalties.
What did Airbnb do? They kicked me off the system for violating their nondiscrimination policy, cancelled all future reservations, and said there was no appeal. I sent a series of emails to my case manager with no responses. Like: suspected scammers are not a protected class that you should not discriminate against. I indicated I had rented to people with Hispanic last names so how could this be discrimination? I even emailed the guy I cancelled; he said “there wasn’t any discrimination” and he’d contact Airbnb about it.
His profile now is that of a boy scout: no mention of Guantanamo, multiple verifications, etc. Airbnb hires some pretty dumb case managers who do not know how to think and they give them sweeping powers. I was reinstated with a “once and final warning”… why not talk to me before they acted? They seem to revel in their autocratic power. Incidentally I have had nothing but five-star ratings.