Students are the main target for rental scammers. All online transaction are threatened with scams. Scammers are innovative and creative and will do all they can to scam you. When it comes to rentals, scammers can use several tricks to get money from apartment hunters. Below are some of the tricks on how to spot a scammer when looking for an apartment:
- The landlord asks you to send him money even before seeing the apartment.
Many rental scammers ask their prey to send them money even before meeting physically. Genuine landlords and realtors will request payment after meeting with you and showing you the condition of the apartment. Scammers avoid this because they don’t want you to know who they are. Scammers will look for every reason to convince you why they can’t make to show you the apartment with claims that they are out of the country and many more. Never should you pay for an apartment before physically reviewing it together with the renter. Always insist on meeting the person before making payment.
- Wireless money transfer
Some scammers are bold enough and will accompany you to the apartment. Review it with you to convince you they are the real owners. In most cases, a tenant who is about to vacate the apartment can also scam you. Since they have access to the apartment, they will not have anything to worry about showing you around the apartment. Because the tenant is about to vacate he/she may want to rent the property to you claiming he is the owner and he has got another place to live or he is leaving the country soon. They will ask you for security fees and other deposits for them to reserve the room for you. In most cases, you will be asked to wire the money instead of using bankers cheque. Wireless money transfer is more preferred to scammers as it reduces the instances to you and the renter have to meet. Most wireless money transfer like PayPal does not allow you to reverse the payment made, even after knowing you have been scammed you can’t be able to reverse any transaction.
- Do research.
After identifying the name of the apartment, you are about to rent research to know more about it. Investigate to know the company that owns the apartment and the company renting the property if not the owner. You can also do a reverse image search to know if the same picture has been used somewhere else. Read the reviews and other red flags that can help you identify rental scammers. Many students can’t devote their time to searching for the right apartment while having home tasks waiting to be done immediately. As you look for an apartment and have no time to do proper research, read college essay examples and have your assignments done on time by the team of professionals.
- Asking you for confidential information
Scammers are not focused on only scamming you on rent but also in every means to get money. Many online rental scammers tend to ask for more information than needed. They will trick you to get as much information about you as they can. This information can be used to get access to your email and later your online bank accounts . Someone asking to know your pet’s name is interested in resetting some of your accounts as they know this is the commonly asked question.
Many people don’t take action after becoming a victim of rental scams. You may not know what to do, but there is a lot that you should do. Below are some of the things you can do after becoming a rental scam:
- Report to the police
Let the local law enforcement team know you have been scammed. They might help you get your money back.
- Share your story.
Sharing your story with friends helps you feel relieved. As you share your story, you are educating your friend how to know rental scammers.
- Don’t panic and get discouraged.
Rental scams happen to everyone. Don’t constantly look at yourself as a victim of scams. Being scammed is a life experience, and you have to move on. Look for another suitable apartment for you.
- File a complaint with FTC.
If you are located in America, you can report to the Federal Trade Commission. FTC is a consumer protection agency, and their work is to protect you against such scams.