Even if my scammers had been slightly foiled, there was no guarantee that they couldn’t just start fresh with new profiles. The system was still in place. Airbnb has created a web of more than 7 million listings built largely on trust, easily exploitable by those willing to do so. Maybe it’s not so surprising that the company would rather play a half-assed game of whack-a-mole than answer basic questions about its verification process. For every person who doesn’t receive a complete refund, Airbnb makes money.
I've had good experiences on Airbnb so far, but this sort of thing makes me wary about continuing to push my luck. The hotel aggregation sites are little better.