Beware of Rental Scams Online!
Follow these tips to avoid falling for a rental scam:
- NEVER rent sight unseen! Always go see the inside of a unit in person before agreeing to anything. If you are out of town arrange to have a friend go for you and send you photos/videos.
- DO NOT give out any financial/personal information including bank account number, social security number, PayPal account info, etc. until you have met the person in person
- DO NOT wire money online
- DO NOT agree to do a credit check for someone until you have met him/her in person
- ONLY deal with landlords that live locally, and that you will meet in person before signing the lease
Red Flags for Scams
- Requesting a credit check or asks for extensive personal information before letting you view the unit
- Property owner states that he/she is out of the country and is unable to show you the unit until a later date
- Property owner provides a real address and suggests you drive by and view the unit from the outside. They for some reason cannot show you the inside until a later date, but want you to pay a "holding fee" to reserve the unit if you like what you see.
- Too good to be true: the rental is in a highly desirable location, is super cheap, and has impressive amenities, etc. If is sounds too good to be true, you can bet that it probably is.