Rental scams are on the rise but they usually happen to those people that don’t know how to detect rental scams and at the same time how to deal with it. Imagine you have landed your dream apartment but now you are asked to transfer the first month’s rent from miles away? Someone telling you to send money before you continue with the process? Maybe you have found the perfect apartment but you are told to first take care of some clearing fees and deposits. All these can be possible traps con artists use to cheat you out of your money.

This doesn’t mean that all online rentals are scams, there are millions of online rental ads that are legitimate, but now scammers are leveraging the innocence in the internet community to rip you off. A legitimate rental online business will never ask you for any money before you see the merchandise; they will not tell you to take care of any bills first because that’s their role.

Who are vulnerable?

Rental scams are on the rise. Landlords and tenants should be very wary of online rental scams. The scammers are taking advantage of the highly volatile housing market to get money by fraudulent means. To be sure you are dealing with a genuine dealer, you should visit I bet you already know how easy it is to take advantage of someone looking for housing. When the tenants get a good deal, not many of them give it a second thought. In most cases, the renter will not notice it until after they have been scammed.

What to do

To be sure you don’t fall, victim, you should, first of all, understand how rental scams work. You should start by understanding ploys used by these people to con you out of your hard earned money.

Renting on Behalf of the landlord – This is the most common method that is used. If you don’t take care, or even spare enough time to look for the real owner or the contracted company, you may fall a victim through this method.

Renting with the intent of renting to others – In this case, the con will rent a house with the intentions of showing it to others whenever they want a house to rent. Now you will easily be convinced that this is the real owner of the property.

You should be extremely aware of anybody that tells you there are some down payments, upfront deposits or any payments before seeing the property. Although this can be the case, please don’t deal with them from far away. At least wait until you can see the apartment and get all legal owners or contract signers to finalize the transaction. You shouldn’t even make any payments before a contract has been signed. The other thing you should watch out for is if someone tells you to transfer the money via money order or wire transfer. If this is the case, don’t fall for their trap, just find another dealer.

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