Protect Yourself from Scams!
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Beware of scammers who are taking money for properties they do not have the right to rent. Watch for signs of a scam and protect yourself.
Do not ignore the signs of a scam due to social distancing.
You can still coordinate a safe viewing of the property and verify the identity of a landlord BEFORE you pay anything.
Watch out for the following signs as they may mean you are being scammed:
- The same property is listed on other sites with different rent or contact information.
- The address is not disclosed.
- The deal seems too good to be true: the rent is very low compared to other similar types of units in the same area.
- They ask you to wire money or send money using an app or want your credit card information right away.
- The landlord is out of town or out of the country and cannot meet you.
- The landlord will not speak with you on the phone or let you into a property to view it. (Although some scammers will speak with you and even let you into a property they do not own.)
- DO NOT pay any deposits or rent until you are certain you have signed a valid lease with someone who has the right to rent the unit.
- DO NOT share your credit card information right away.
- DO NOT wire money or send money using an app.
- DO avoid situations where you feel pressured or uncomfortable.
- DO search the address of the property online to see if it is offered elsewhere with different contact information or rent.
- DO screen your landlord. Ask them questions and search their name online. Read online reviews of the property and check public records for complaints, foreclosure status, and criminal activity.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, contact your local law enforcement agency.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has additional helpful information on rental scams online.