Apartment Rental Service Scams to Avoid

Posted on: November 25th, 2012 by

This world is full of con artists just looking for that next person they can scam. As of late, many people have been “conned” or “scammed” in apartment rental service scams. By reading and following this article, hopefully you won’t be one of those people who get scammed in this way. You need to know what to avoid in the way of rental scams. There are many signs that you can watch for.  These are some apartment rental service scams to watch for and avoid:

  • Be careful doing a rental agreement over the internet. A common scam is an agreement to send you all the keys when you send a “hefty” deposit and a complete rental agreement giving your Social Security number and many other tidbits that can be used to also steal your identity. If a rental agreement sounds like to good of a deal, it probably is, and more than likely is a scam. If you do feel you have been conned or you feel an ad is attempting to do that, file a complaint with the FTC.
  • Never rent an apartment sight unseen. This goes for both the apartment and the landlord. If you cannot get into the apartment, odds are, it is a scam.
  • Unusual payment requests are a no-no. If the apartment owners want you to mail deposits and rents by Western Union or through an on line escrow service, this should be big red flashing lights in your eyes. Don’t allow them to just steal from you in such an easy manner. Keep in mind, that if they are trying to rush you out of your money, they are probably trying to just get the scam over so they can move on to the next victim.
  • Don’t rule out doing background checks on the landlords. Check the FTC and Better Business Bureau. It really doesn’t hurt to tell them you are going to do these checks. A thief will try to get you not to check, or they may even just run, and you won’t hear from them again. A person who is honestly renting an apartment should have no issue at all with you running a check on them.
  • In some cases, setting up a rental on line is necessary. It may just be a temporary stay or you just cannot get to the location until the day you need the rental. In these cases, do your homework very well. Check on the rental company or landlord. Are there a lot of grammar mistakes in the e mails? Look for signs that it could be a scam. I would also request that you can post date the check until the day before you arrive. This will make a stop payment on the check an easier accomplishment.

Be aware! The world is full of thieves and crooks. Apartment rental scams happen all over. Don’t be one of the victims. The advice above is for the best. It may make it harder to find a rental, but consider how you would feel if you handed over a lot of money, never to see it again. You don’t deserve to be robbed from. Use common sense and when you feel that a rental deal is to good to be true, it probably is.