Don’t Get Catfished
We live in the day and age of online everything. Online dating, online car rentals, online food delivery, online friendships, and even online apartment hunting. And while the internet is incredible for many different things, it is also a breeding ground for scam artists to take advantage of an unsuspecting victim. Whenever you are searching for your newest apartment, don’t let a scam artist take your money or identity. You may be asking yourself “how will I know if it’s a scam?” and the short answer is if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. But luckily we are here to help you figure out if an apartment is truly a good listing for you or not.
Whenever you are searching for yur dream apartment, you may want to put in an application for the apartment that seems to have the best location, is fully updated with all the amenities, is an incredible price, and comes with free gy and parking. When the apartment seems too good to be true, you may be giving catfished.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lines out the two major type of rental scams. Those are hicjacked ads and phantom rentals
“Some scammers hijack a real rental or real estate listing by changing the email address or other contact information, and placing the modified ad on another site. The altered ad may even use the name of the person who posted the original ad. In other cases, scammers have hijacked the email accounts of property owners on reputable vacation rental websites.” – FTC
“Other rip-off artists make up listings for places that aren’t for rent or don’t exist, and try to lure you in with the promise of low rent, or great amenities. Their goal is to get your money before you find out.” – FTC
Do either of these sound familiar to you? Rental scams can be avoided if you see the signs from the beginning and you don’t give into the scam.
Signs of a Scam
There are many signs of a rental scam that if you know what they are, you can avoid being catfished.
Being Asked to Wire Money
One way you can be certain that you are being catfsihed is if a “landlord” asks you to wire money for a security deposit or even an application fee. If you are wiring money, you will have no way of cancelling it or getting it back.
Bieng Told the Landlord is Out of The Country
So often, we hear a renter say that their landlord told them that they are out of the country and they want money via you rbank information, or they say that because they are gone they cannot show you the prpperty. If this s the case, you are definitely being catfished. Never
How to Avoid Being Scammed
Do Your Research
If you are going to reach out and try to apply for a rental property that seems fishy, you your research first. You can Google the address and see if the results match the rental that you are looking into. Double check the contact information as well.
We have said it once and we will say it again, if a rental seems too good to be true, you may be getting catfsihed. If the rentals near your property are way more expensive than the rental property you are looking into, it’s time to start asking questions. Get familiar with your rental area
Do Not Send Money
Like we said earlier, if a landlord wants you to send money before you have seen the property in person, you absolutely should not. A major scam is to ask for a wire transfer or a cash transfer before seeing the property and then the renter is left with no way of getting their money back.
Beware of Sketchy Landlords
If a landlord comes off as being pushy, you may be being catfished. That would mean if they want you to send money without seeing the property, they are being pushy about how soon they need you to move in, they are not wanting to run background checks ort credit checks you need to ask yourself why.
True landlords know the importnce of getting a good tennant, just as you would want a good landlord. They will not be in a hurry to get things done because they want to know everything is being done correctly and that their property is oin good hands.
Always be sure to report scams to the FTC and contact the website where the rental scam was listed.
Be sure to avoid scams for certain by working with Apartment Hunters. We do the apartment hunting for you so you can be sure you are not being catfished.