Ask For This Before You Book Your Next Airbnb… It Could Save Your Life

Jan 15, 2019 | Safety Smart, Safety Tips, Travel

We got this email the other day… 

Begin forwarded message: From: Anna **** <*******@***> Subject: Wish I Had Know About SafetyPIN When… Date: January 10, 2019 at 11:55:10 AM EST To: SafetyPIN Technologies <> Hey SafetyPIN! My name is Anna, and I’m a regular on Airbnb. I like to use it when I travel because it gives us more room to spread out, more privacy… and it can be a lot cheaper than a hotel. So why should you care about that? Because something spooked me during my last trip. And even though I’m okay now, I realized that my life could have been at risk, and I want to share it with you because after this, I’ll never book my Airbnb without asking for a SafetyPIN from the host ever again… and others need to hear this. My friend and I decided to pack up our bags and head to a quiet beach town in the Carolinas for a New Years getaway. We were both tired of the drunken midnight party scene and decided to trade it in for cozy sweatshirts on the beach. When we arrived at the house, we discovered the code to open the front door wasn’t working. It seemed like the lock was out of battery. So I picked up my phone to call our Airbnb host. But I quickly realized that there was no cell signal. We’d have to drive into town if I wanted to contact the host. And then, if by a total coincidence, a guy pulls up in a truck. He steps out and starts walking to the front door where we were standing. “Hey, I’m John – this is my house. Is the front lock misbehaving?” He just… showed up. John was definitely our host, he matched his profile picture… so I just let him put new batteries in the lock and let us in. And show us around. How to use the stove. Where the extra blanket was in the bedroom. Then he made this comment about how comfortable the mattress was… It was awkward, to say the least. Then he left. It was all very weird, it’s like he knew that the batteries in the lock were going to die. I just had this weird feeling about the whole situation, it didn’t feel right. And then it hit me – I had no idea who this guy really was. I somehow thought that, just because his face matched his profile picture and the house had good reviews from past guests, we were all set. But I thought, what if we weren’t all set? What if I had been there alone? What if he had something else in mind? I had no way to know… and he had the code to the front door. 

I hardly slept through the first night – lying awake, staring at the door like he could punch in the code at any second. We were two young girls, staying alone in an unfamiliar town. I obsessed about how his actions clearly seemed thought out. How did he know we were had pulled up when we did? How did he know about the lock? It just didn’t feel right. So the next day, I started Googling ways to stay safe online, and I found SafetyPIN’s Trust Badge. Amazing! It was JUST what I was hoping for – a quick and easy way to find out if I could trust this guy. I love the fact that you guys check someone’s history AND do a behavioral screening. It’s so hard to know who to trust these days, so knowing that the screening process is so thorough is super refreshing. And I also realized something huge. It gave me the power to say, “thank you, next” to anyone who refused to apply or was didn’t have one. 

Everything worked out okay on our trip, but I didn’t sleep too well during that whole time. I just wish I had known about SafetyPIN beforehand and had asked him to apply for one. So I would know I could trust him before we even arrived at the house… before he showed up in person, and before we were inside the house with him. I just applied and wanted to know how I can use mine on Airbnb. Do you guys work with them at all? Anna ________________________ From: SafetyPIN Technologies <> Subject: Re:Wish I Had Know About SafetyPIN When… Date: January 10, 2019 at 12:31:23 PM EST To: Anna **** <*******@***> Dear Anna, Thank you for sharing your story with us. I can’t imagine how unnerving that experience must’ve been. It’s exactly for situations like that that we developed SafetyPIN. We aren’t currently working with Airbnb but that doesn’t mean you can’t post your Trust Badge or ask your host to apply. You can easily upload your own Trust Badge to any online profile you’d like, and use it as a way to show others that you can be trusted as well while asking for their SafetyPIN in return. We will keep you posted when we are working with them. Until then…stay safe! Emily Thomas


Director of Customer Care

SafetyPIN Technologies, Inc.

Additional Posts

Four nights in jail that another background check would miss

Most background checks only screen the “National Criminal Database,” which excludes 22 states completely, and leaves out a LOT of counties across 12 other states. Better background checks will screen down to the county someone lives in, and, in some cases, the counties they’ve lived in for the past 7 years. But we know criminals don’t stop at the county line – so neither do we.

The angry shoplifter who wants to watch your house

Forty-year-old Phoebe was applying to be a house-sitter. Our review showed she’d been arrested for shoplifting when she was 33. That’s a little too old to write-off as a youthful indiscretion. When our experts asked Phoebe for more details, her answers became defensive and she refused to explain any circumstances around her arrest. Most background checks would overlook a single

Could this be the most dangerous person we’ve ever screened out?

This is a case we often talk about in our offices. Bill applied for a SafetyPIN in mid-June. From the beginning, there was something about his application and information that concerned us, but we couldn’t put our finger on it at first. It certainly didn’t help that he called customer service almost every day to ask about the status of his SafetyPIN.