Apartment Renters Beware

Here’s a Catch-22 for you; it’s now more affordable to buy a home them to rent but, because most renters don’t make enough money to put down a big enough down payment, they’re stuck renting.

To make matters worse, practically all of the online apartment hunting websites have now been invaded by scammers, making it extremely likely that the average person looking to rent an apartment will run into one at one point or another. Add to that the fact that, because of time constraints, money constraints or a combination of the two, most renters are under pressure to find a place fast, and things can get kind of hairy.

Below are the 2 biggest scams that are being foisted on apartment renters right now. If a new apartment is in your future, make sure you know what to look out for by reading below. Enjoy.


Scam 1: Renter Identity Theft

One of the first things that they prospective renter has to do is fill out application to have a credit check run by their perspective landlord, the perfect way for a scam artist to get enough information to steal their identity. Knowing this, never give any information out until you actually see the apartment that you’re going to rent, and meet the new landlord, face-to-face. That includes filling out online applications, even if they look completely legitimate.


Scam 2: Pre-payment for an apartment that doesn’t exist

Unfortunately it’s extremely easy for someone to copy a listing for an apartment and then post it on sites like Craigslist and others. Once they do, if you fall for their scam and send money as a down payment, you won’t be seeing that money again anytime soon. In most cases like these you’ll have a “landlord” who makes up an elaborate story about not being able to meet you and take your deposit in person. That’s a BIG red flag. If they ask for some type of payment with, for example, a prepaid card, that’s another BIG red flag because payments like that are almost impossible to get back. Point being, never send a down payment until you actually see the apartment and meet the landlord face-to-face.

One problem that many consumers have had is that, when they find out and expose a scammer, that same scumbag takes their phone number and uses it as the contact number on a fake apartment listing on an apartment renting website. It’s not going to get anyone in trouble but it is a real nuisance, to say the least, as dozens of people begin calling to ask about renting.

Fighting back against this is tough but one of the best ways is to not send your phone number in an email and also to be extremely suspicious of apartment listings that seem too to good to be true.

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