This cyclist was our first warm showers visitor, and although he was pleasant enough as a guest, it later became clear that he had fabricated everything in his cycling persona. (I don't even know if the name is real.) I am posting this because although I already outed his fabricated persona in feedback and alerted Warm Showers, after I changed my feedback to negative, it took him only an hour to delete his account, and it would not surprise me if he tried to create a new one, but retained much of his story.
The story he told is:
A bike builder from Alaska, former welder, lives supposedly 90 miles north of town off the grid with $150,000 worth of solar and wind power for his cabin and shop. Says he got hit by a car and was in the hospital for most of a year (or in and out, when questioned about that) and says he rode Fairbanks to San Diego, then across the Trans-Am, then up to DC, down to Florida, back up through DC to Pennsylvania, back down to DC -- where he told us he was leaving -- before looping back up toward Baltimore to take advantage of more Warm Showers hospitality and claim he was leaving again tomorrow on a plane for Alaska.
Some of this story holds up -- at least there were various WS host records from locations along this alleged route (though nothing that I saw was from West of Kankakee, Il).
He had good feedback (one negative, but that was about a banana peel, seriously). However, he told us he was flying out of the DC area the day after our stay. Many days later, I got a message from another host wondering about him, saying things didn't add up, and that he also told him he was leaving the next day (but by Baltimore to DC, then Alaska, which makes zero sense.)
I did some quick checking of the photographs he posted on Facebook (very little social media presence) for himself and his business -- supposedly a fabricator of titanium bikes. It took me an hour using internet search tools to verify that Every Single Photo (except for a single shot of him in Yorktown) was taken from somewhere else and misrepresented as being his own work (ti bikes and parts) or his own experience (helicopter fatbiking picture taken from Norco cycles, cyclists under the northern lights, taken from an Icelandic outfitter). Steve volunteered photos on his phone that showed "geothermal bubbles trapped in ice on the lake by my house" which I confirmed as a stolen image from a Smithsonian Magazine article about methane bubbles in a Canadian lake(http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/lake-abrahams-frozen-bubbles-are-stunning-and-silent-danger-18...). A story he told me about helicopter fatbiking was accompanied by a look at an image of bikes strapped to a chopper, and he posted that on his facebook profile, but it was easy for me (later) to see that this was taken from Norco's page (http://www.norco.com/news/2014/04/heli-dropping-a-fatbike-into-the-unknown/). Steve has a lot of good stories about getting attacked by dogs, hassled by angry Kentuckians, and he knows a lot about the cycling industry including obscure stuff like recumbents. Enough to fake it pretty well.
Nothing else seemed to add up either. The location given for his business in Alaska, upon my checking, cannot exist because the entire block for that address is taken up on one side by a homeless shelter, the other side by a food bank. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/720+27th+Ave,+Fairbanks,+AKemail@example.com,-147.71885,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x51325aaecbf7567b:0xd3ec98f08062ad6b!8m2!3d64.8224791!4d-147.7166613)
His cell phone number turns out to be for a Maine area code, sort of hard to explain for a guy from Alaska, even though he does have one broken phone story, but this allegedly happened while he was crossing the US on the trans am route.
He may well be completely harmless [edit: not harmless, a confirmed thief] , but I have a zero tolerance policy for fictional personalities. People who are willing to lie about the little things are always moving up the scale in falsehoods.
This is too bad, because, frankly, I'd have hosted him if he was just a regular dude who said he was taking a 2-day trip across the region and needed a place to stay.
Lessons, unfortunately, if you care about knowing who's coming to your place, get more than just some decent WS feedback. Get the social media presence. Use Google Image Search (upload the photos) to see where else they appear on the Internet, and see if people are who they say they are. I would have no trouble if someone did that kind of cursory background check on me, and it'll be a minimum part of my approvals going forward.
Wish the first WS hosting experience could have been better.