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They want my photograph

(42 Posts)
NanKate Wed 10-Jan-18 20:20:11

We have just booked a short holiday in the U.K. and had to do it through a Booking Agency AirBnb. All went well we got the days we wanted in an idyllic venue, however after paying online for the holiday we received an email from AirBnb saying they could not finalise the booking unless I downloaded a photo of myself preferably from my Driving Licence or Passport. I don’t want my photo being available on the Internet.

Anyone else had this problem or booked through AirBnb ?

grannyqueenie Wed 10-Jan-18 20:46:49

I’ve used AirBnB for a European stay a couple of years ago and some of the family have used them in this country and also last year in South East Asia. I don’t think we were asked for a photo, is it worth checking their website to see if it’s either a new requirement across the board or just one peculiar to that particular owner?

NanKate Wed 10-Jan-18 21:40:40

Thanks GQ just checked online and a whole load of disgruntled people have complained that they can only book through AirBnB with a photo. Well they are not having mine.

Thanks for responding.

grannyqueenie Wed 10-Jan-18 23:29:54

Yes that would make me hesitate too. I wonder if it’s been introduced to prevent some of the problem with unscrupulous folk having parties etc in AirBnB rentals and leaving them in poor condition. I did read this has been a problem in some places.

cascats Thu 11-Jan-18 00:09:53

Have done a couple of bookings via AirBnB and also was requested for a Photo, I just used my Facebook one. Was also asked to add a little about myself, as hosts are letting people into what if often their homes so may prefer to know something about them.
I did query why it was needed, and got the response that it was so the host was sure the person who booked was the person who turned up. Stops people booking for others and then saying they know nothing of damage, overcrowding etc.
Had one very good and one not so (buts thats a whole other story 😀)

KatyK Thu 11-Jan-18 10:34:55

We have booked with Airbnb. We had to provide a photo. I'm not keen on sharing photos with anyone else but we did it and all was OK.

M0nica Thu 11-Jan-18 10:39:26

Send a copy of your passport photograph. If mine is anything to go by, it doesn't look anything like me!

Nonnie Thu 11-Jan-18 10:51:51

I know a lot of people worry about posting photos but what are they actually worried about? What am I missing? If a criminal has my photo what can they do with it?

EthelJ Thu 11-Jan-18 12:14:32

Hi, I booked with airbnb once for a property in Europe and also had to provide a photo and also I think I had to prove I had a social media profile I think I had to share my facebook profile.. I think it was for security reasons to show that you really exist. I was a bit unsure about it as well but I checked the property and the airbnb host and all looked OK. In the end the property turned out to be just as described, and what we needed at a much cheaper price than a hotel.

I can understand being worried about providing a photo as I was unsure whether to do it , but we had no choice, we were visiting family who had just had a baby and all the hotels were out of our price range. If you do decide to book with them once you have been on holiday you could always delete your account.

grannyactivist Thu 11-Jan-18 12:23:54

I honestly can't understand what the problem is. Hosts are letting total strangers their property and want to be sure that the person who turns up is the one that has been verified - and the only sure way of doing this is to have a photograph. A close friend with young children is an Airbnb host; she has the security of knowing that the person who turns up is actually the one who booked.

FarNorth Thu 11-Jan-18 15:27:30

Yes, I used them several times a few years ago with no need for ID.
Then they asked for it so I haven't used them again.

I guess a lot of people must be okay with it, tho.

FarNorth Thu 11-Jan-18 15:29:35

I gave them a photo, with no probs, but not so keen on giving them a copy of passport or driving licence.

NanKate Thu 11-Jan-18 15:53:12

Followed this up today and they do want a Government issued photo, back and front. I have managed to contact the owner of the B and B and she is seeing why they won't accept the photo of me that I posted in the end, as her other visitors have not been asked for a Driving Licence or Passport.

I am very cautious Grannyactivist as I had all my credit cards and driving licence stolen from me in the café of M and S a couple of years ago and I was advised by my Bank to be extra cautious in any info I gave out about myself. I signed up to Experian who are supposed to contact me if someone is trying to falsify something in my name.

FarNorth Thu 11-Jan-18 21:43:19

My theory is that they let you book a few times without asking for ID, then say they want it and, as you've got used to using them, you just do it.
But I didn't.

My passport is out of date later this year, so I thought of sending a copy of that, just before it expires.

Shazmo24 Fri 12-Jan-18 09:58:31

I've used Airbnb all over the world. I used my photo driving licence to verify that I am who I say I am. Have never had a problem at all. Its kept securely and is not used for other things. It's perfectly safe
I have a photograph of me on my profile so that when I turn up they know its me.
There has to be a level of trust from those who's house etc you are using.
Its a shame if you don't use airbnb because of this as have stayed in some wonderful homes.

Oopsadaisy52 Fri 12-Jan-18 10:18:47

We’ve used Airbnb a few times, I send them to my Facebook page, they also showed me their photo, on the last villa we booked the owner spotted us and recognised me from the photo and helped us to unload the car! I think they just need to check you are who you say you are, the houses that we have rented have all been ex family homes and are full of personal bits and pieces, much nicer than a bleak holiday Home, so if they want to check me out then that’s fine by me.

Pittcity Fri 12-Jan-18 10:33:18

We opened a new bank account and they took our photo so that when we go in they don't need to go through loads of ID checks, brilliant!
Surely if you send a photo it is between you and the company, not publicly available on the internet. Just the same as giving them your name, address or card number?

GabriellaG Fri 12-Jan-18 10:54:01


Exoerian do not notify you if someone uses your name for fraudulent purposes.
I am a member and ultimately paid £20 for 2 years membership of CIFAS after my name and date if birth was used by someone to take out 2 lines of credit ( thousands of £s) with a well known high street street which has a directory.
I knew nothing about it until I received a letter from a debt collection agency. It was then up to me to prove I knew nothing about it (which I managed to do at a cost, both financial and time-wise)
It is still ongoing and, although my credit files are spotless, the company has made no apology whatsoever and is being investigated by the retail Ombudsman. The police do NOTHING if you have not lost any money.
All I can say is that although companies say (in their ts&cs) that they MAY check that the bank details correspond with the name, DOB and address given among other checks they MAY carry out, they, in their own words, 'trust that the proposed account holder is giving the correct information'. In other words they rarely, if ever, check.
The fraudster apparently lives hundreds of miles from where I live so how that info got into their hands...who knows. We have to give out so much data nowadays that fraud is on the increase. Beware.

GabriellaG Fri 12-Jan-18 10:56:24

*OF not if
High Street STORE
I must check before posting - sorry.

00mam00 Fri 12-Jan-18 11:15:19

We have used airbnb for years and have always been very happy with the properties we stay in. I am signed in with my email account which has my photo on it. I have no problem with that. And all the hosts have their photo on their page.

vickya Fri 12-Jan-18 11:15:30

A photo on a facebook account is not a guarantee that is what the account holder looks like. I've has several requests to be friends from strangers in other countries, mostly USA, who are fit army types, a little grey hair, just what an English granny might go for. But oddly the accounts are fairly new and have few friends and almost no posts on the timeline. It is generally accepted they are scams in some way.

Bellanonna Fri 12-Jan-18 12:12:34

I’m just curious to know what the advantages of Airbnb are. I’ve booked cottages and b&b for years from guide books, and latterly from online ads but have never used this agency. There have been full descriptions of properties and Trip Adviser leave helpful comments. I haven’t always had to pay an agency fee, but if I have it’s been minimal. I’ve never had to produce a photo. I’m just wondering what, if anything, is special about this California based agency.

Hm999 Fri 12-Jan-18 12:18:41

I assumed my photo upload was a security measure for the apartment owner.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Fri 12-Jan-18 12:18:53

On the face of it it certainly does seem ridiculous. I recall that many years ago when I went for an interview at an art school I was asked for a photo as they wanted to make sure that I wasn't an imposter!
I'm not too savvy on the technology front and without asking one of my nephews I wouldn't have the first idea of how to download a photo of myself anyway.

icanhandthemback Fri 12-Jan-18 12:57:19

Airbnb have had problems with people booking places for illicit purposes like paid for sex and drug purposes so I guess they are just making sure that people who are who they say they are. The law can make them liable for criminal conviction if they knowingly let out places for illicit purposes so you can hardly blame them for being careful. Any photo posted anywhere, taken in the street without your knowledge or processed through a third party could leave you vulnerable but you have to weigh up the likelihood. It wouldn't bother me to send a photo but I hate sending my passport or driving licence because I think they are more susceptible to fraud.