Identity Theft From Guest, Steps Moving Forward

I wanted to share my story, and hopefully get some feedback. I do not want to be easily identifiable so I will not give detailed specifics. We are Superhosts. We rented our house to a guy that had a verified email, phone number, and an “offline ID.” This guy stole my identify along with a good chunk of money. The police report has been filed, there is a detective assigned to the case, and I’ve been working with Airbnb’s “safety and trust team.” They offered to pay us for Lifelock that we had put on our lives, and also for door locks that we replaced. When I asked about my security deposit, she without hesitation sent us the entire amount, without asking for proof of anything (making us think they know more than we do).

Long story short, this guy booked under a fake name, a fake profile photo (I reverse Google searched it), a drop phone number, and a fake brand new email. Shouldn’t Airbnb be held responsible? Don’t they have a due diligence to properly vet all guests that will be staying at hosts’ homes? Surely this guy’s name that he made up for the profile and the ID name and photo do not match, so do they really check these, or just act like they do since this person wants to book so they can make an extra buck, while neglecting their hosts? The detective is looking into video footage of confirmed activity on the money that was stolen from us, as this will be his best lead. They connected him to another theft of checks around the same area, that same night. So there are at least two incidents in one night, by this guy, under two different names, and the checks were made out to a different name as well.

We do not think Airbnb cares about their hosts as much as they claim, as none of this would have happened had they throughly vetted each guest’s profile. But they did not. They have offered to reimburse the money only if we owe it back, which does not make since. I have not responded to that offer, as I’m waiting on the detective to look at the video footage, so we can identify this guy, so this “guest” will eventually have charges pressed against him. Does anyone think we should go to the media, and make people aware? Does anyone think we should hire an attorney? Does anyone know of any good attorneys that have handled cases in which the host is the plaintiff, and Airbnb as the defendant?

Security breach

Warning to AirBnb users: Read my story! A few weeks ago I received an email that my AirBnB account has changed. The hackers changed the email address (i.e. userid) so I could not login. I had my credit card and drivers license and address and phone numbers, so they could adopt a kid using my identity. There was no way to contact AirBnB. No phone numbers, no email. After trying different ways, I signed up with a new email address and explained the situation. First, I received an automated email which did not help at all. After reiterating the story, they corrected the situation, set my correct email address and gave me a temporary password. I logged in to my account and to my horror I realized the hackers posted many phoney listings for rent and discussed the prices etc with unsuspecting poor travellers. As an Airbnb user, I know that (most) property owners like to offer a direct deal to customers to avoid AirBnB charges. That means these guys probably got scammed with no traces on Air