"Help, I Fell For The Apartment Rental Credit Check Scam!"

Since posting an article about Craiglist apartment listing scams a month ago, we’ve heard from lots of people who fell for the scam. If you’re one of them, here’s what you need to know.

  • Cancel your account with the credit report site immediately. They won’t let you do this online, so you’ll have to call an 800 number to cancel. They’ll try to talk you out of canceling. Stand firm.
  • Watch your credit card statements carefully. Some of the “free credit report” services are owned by companies notorious for slipping unauthorized charges onto your bill. Watch your statements, and pounce on those bogus charges like a kitten on a dust bunny. Dispute them, or file a chargeback if necessary.
  • Your personal data is probably safe, but just in case, keep an eye on your credit report. Use AnnualCreditReport.com. I like to order a report from a different credit bureau every four months, so it remains free, but I have a broad sense of what’s getting reported over time. The scammers aren’t out to steal your identity. They’re out to collect affiliate fees for selling you a not-so-free credit report.
  • Remember, you’re not stupid. Credit checks are a common part of the rental process, so don’t feel stupid for not being suspicious at first.

RELATED:
Scammers Advertise Fake Apartments, Want Your Real Credit Information
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Don’t Fall For The Job Hunting Credit Report Scam

(Photo: brendancox)