What is a rental scam?
Rental scams are when someone attempts to steal your identity and money using a fake rental listing.
How to Identify a Rental Scam.
- The rental price seems too good to be true.
If the rent seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers prey on those who need to find a new home quickly and need a good deal. When you see a rental price you are unsure about, research similar units in the area to see what they’re going for to compare.
- Listing is unprofessional and full of errors.
A legitimate rental listing will include all important details about the property and be well-worded with no grammar or spelling errors.
- You feel pressured to lease right away.
If you are feeling pressured to lease right away without seeing the space first, that is a red flag. Legitimate landlords or leasing agents will gladly show you the space before renting.
- You’re being asked to provide personal information or money before viewing the property.
The most a landlord should need before providing a tour is proof of ID. They should not be asking for credit card information or social security numbers until time of application.
- You are asked to pay a deposit in cash or a wire transfer.
This is a sure sign of a scam. There is no way to return this money after it is given or sent.
If you think you have come across a rental scam please save all communications you have had with the scammer and report it to your local law enforcement and the FTC.