5 Ways To Spot a Rental Scam

February 26, 2020

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With the growing prevalence of fraudulent rental advertisements, it is important renters follow these 5 TIPS to avoid falling victim to a scam.

Here are 5 red flags that your “dream” rental maybe a nightmare:

1-THE PRICE SEEMS TO GO TO BE TRUE: Often scammers will provide a price that is significantly below the neighborhood average. This motivates renters to move quickly in fear of losing the property to another tenant. If the price seems too good to be true… it probably is! Don’t get lured in by what seems to be a “great” deal. It often ends up being a big “steal”.

2-THE HOME IS PUBLICLY LISTED FOR SALE: Recently scammers have been stealing pictures of current homes listed for sale and re-listing them for rent on other websites. This provides them with access to pictures of the home and detailed information, which makes a scam more believable. If you see this, contact our team directly and we will verify the property is listed for sale and rent (which does happen, but not as often as you think).

3-THEY WONT SHOW YOU THE HOME: Scammers will often encourage you to move on a home prior to seeing it in person. It is often because the scammer doesn’t have access or ability to show the property.Put your guard up if the landlord seems more interested in receiving your deposit then providing you with a tour of the home.

4-LANDLORD IS A “NO-SHOW”: It is a huge red-flag if a landlord is making excuses not to meet you in person! It’s odd. Wouldn’t a landlord want to meet the person trying to rent their home? Don’t just brush this off! They won’t meet you because they can’t, because they are NOT A REAL PERSON! Trust your gut! Meet a landlord in a public and safe place for initial meetings prior to seeing the property with them.

5-THEY WANT MONEY FIRST: Don’t ever wire someone deposit funds until they have 1) you have met them in person and 2) Given you a tour of the home. If a landlord continually asks you to simply “wire a deposit to get the process started” DO NOT DO IT! A deposit should not be taken without a signed rental agreement between landlord and tenant. I also encourage people to cross reference public tax records to ensure the person trying to receive their deposit is also the person who has the legal ability to rent the home.

Fraudulent rental scams are not going away, but you can reduce your risk of falling victim to them by following these 5 tips! Or even better, let our team help you find a home to rent. It doesn’t cost you anything where as getting scammed could cost you thousands or even more!

Contact us today at 361-878-8000 or aahsrteam@gmail.com 

Search for rentals on the MLS here: 

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