These days it’s easy for you to encounter a potential renting scam, especially online. Here are a few tips to help you get the place you want—and nothing more:
Fraudsters will often copy another listing and simply change the contact information and lower the rental price to get as many responses to their post as possible. An apartment that’s priced suspiciously low may not be a scam — but it may not be up to your standards. Check out our article about inspecting a potential apartment for tips on making a smart rental decision.
Shady characters often claim to have already moved or be out of the country on business. They’ll offer to ship the keys to you—after you wire them a deposit, of course. Which brings us to another good rule of thumb in the online world…
Wire transfers are an easy, nearly untraceable way for con artists to get their hands on your hard-earned money. They’ll use elaborate, often altruistic, stories to explain why you need to wire them funds, and they’ll speak with a great sense of urgency to get you to carry out their plan as fast as possible.
New rental scams pop up almost daily, so there’s never a guarantee you won’t be a victim, but here are some other things you can do to avoid being taken advantage of:
There’s no doubt that fraudsters are becoming more adept at duping renters, but common sense still goes a long way. So does the old adage, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
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