Unfortunately, as you search for a place to live, there are dishonest people out there who want to separate you from your hard-earned cash.
Some tips to avoid scams:
Do not send money to anyone until you have:
- Met the landlord/property manager in person
- Toured the entire inside and outside of the unit, and made sure it is a good fit for you
- Completely reviewed the contents of your lease.
- Agreed to the terms of the lease.
- Never give out information like your social security number or bank account number through email or over the phone. If a landlord wants your social security number, go to their office and put it directly onto the application. If they ask for your bank account number, ask if they will take a recent bank statement instead. This should also be done in person.
- If something does not feel right to you, do not send money or give personal information until you get a second opinion from a person or organization you trust.
- Never wire funds to anybody.
- Do not make payments to anyone you have not met in person. If a person says they are not able to meet in person, it is likely a scam.
- If a landlord sends you a vague email and will not give you specific information about the unit you are hoping to rent, it is likely a scam.
- If the landlord immediately tells you that you are “guaranteed” the apartment without getting any information from you or giving you a lease, it is likely a scam.
Photo credit: Housing4Hoosiers