Avoiding Scams When Searching for Rental Housing

No matter what site you use to search for housing, beware of scams. 

The rent amount seems so low that it is too good to be true? Don't trust it.

The property owner/manager won't meet you in person? Don't trust it.

Always do the following when searching for a new home:

1. Meet the owner or property manager in person.

2. Tour both the inside and outside of the home to make sure it is a good fit for you.

3. Review the lease terms before agreeing to rent a place or paying any money.

4. Don’t Venmo, Cash App, wire or mail money to anyone until you have met the owner/manager, toured the property inside and out, applied for the apartment, and agreed to lease terms.

Common Type of Scam
A scammer takes a listing with a real address, photos, and property information. They copy everything, but change the phone number or email address. Instead of calling or emailing the real rental property, you end up contacting the scammer.

They tell you that they are out of the state or the country and unable to show you the property in person.

However, you are encouraged to drive by to take a look, but you can’t go inside (but you can see what the inside looks like from the photos online).

If you like it, you are then asked to send money through Venmo, Cash App, mail a check or wire money to reserve the rental home.

After sending the money, you never hear from the scammer again.

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