Is the offer too good to be true? It probably is. Don't be a victim of Fraud
WORST RENTAL SCAMS
1. The "Vacant Home" rental:Con artists in some cases are breaking into vacant homes and changing the locks. They are showing and renting these homes to unsuspecting tenants. They promptly leave town once they have collected the deposit and first month's rent.
2. The just-about-to-foreclose home: There have been a surge of homes being rented within the pre-foreclosure stage. Owner collect the deposits and first month's rent before the home is auctioned. This is usually bad news for the renter. Federal law does give tenants the right to stay in the home 90 days after foreclosure but in the mean time you have lost the money and time put into moving.
3. The eviction prevention hoax: In this scam, a fake legal service sends letters to tenants living in a foreclosed homes and promises to keep them from being evicted; this of course comes at a fee of $800 to $3000
4. The stolen deposit: Watch out for landlords that keep your deposit without cause. If landlords do retain your money, they have to give you an itemized list of repairs and how much they cost.
6. Phony online rentals: Be on the lookout for scammers on Craigslist and other online classifies when searching for homes. Scammers will copy legitimate listings and advertise the home on their website at a lower cost. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is!
RENTAL FRAUD: Things that might be suspicious
Does the email start out with Sir / Madam?
Emails are overly polite, very poorly written or express eagerness to rent without allowing you to inspected the property
Are there character mistakes in the email? i.e Hello,my nameis Susie.
Is there excessive capitalization?
Does the email reference God, UK, Cashiers Check, Doctor, Nigeria, Reverend, etc.
Is the email from a free email provider. i.e gmail, yahoo, aol, hotmail.
Does the email refer to another person or agent?
Does the email reference wanting to move in site unseen?
Is the person unable to preform a credit check? Did the landlord ask for a rental application or references?
is the price of rent too low for the area?
Is the landlord out of the country on business?
Does the landlord ask you to wire funds to a friend of yours and asks for a copy of your receipt?
Ask the landlord for ID. Can they provide this?
Look up the property owner. Does it match?
Report Scams and Fraud
If you find a fraudulent listing, you may contact the following authorities to report possible fraud: