When you’re searching for your next place to rent, it’s easy to be swept up in attractive amenities, blinding yourself to potential pitfalls. That’s exactly the type of mentality swindlers are counting on when they attempt to bilk money out of lazy rental hunters.
Krystal, who is moving to Germany, writes at Moneyville about how she was nearly taken in by a rental con, and advises you to look out for red flags. Her advice pertains to any renter, but particularly those moving to a different city.
* You haven’t seen the apartment. If at all possible, wait to put a deposit down until you’ve stepped inside the property. Pictures you see online mean nothing.
* You’re asked to wire money. Criminals ask for wire transfers because they can make off with the money free and clear without giving victims much recourse to get their funds back.
* Online searches don’t convince you the rental is legit. Dig up as much information as you can about the property and the manager you’re working with. You could find valuable information that scares you off. Also, a lack of a web presence is another danger sign — possibly a sign that you’re dealing with someone who is using an alias.
Apartment rental scam: I was lucky [Moneyville]