As you know, scams are common on the internet. However, despite the warnings, fraudulent ads on the web claim more and more victims every year. Unfortunately, online property rental sites are not spared this phenomenon. So how do you tell the “right plan” from the scam? Magnificent photos, prices below the market, unusual handling fees. The scammers use all the weapons they have to lure you. In this article, we will give you tips that will allow you to unmask the scammers, but also to distinguish reliable housing ads from those from which to turn away.
An ad that is too good to be true: the classic false housing scam
Suppose you came across a site offering you to buy an iPhone for only 2 dollars. You would probably be perplexed. However, when it comes to rental property, many internet users tend to be less vigilant. Generally, two signs identify a housing scam. To trade, scammers often use superb, professional-looking photographs to illustrate their fraudulent advertisements. Lights worked, design decoration, photo retouching everything is done to inspire you. They do their job entirely to motivate you to contact the owner of this fictitious accommodation. Then you will notice that in many cases, the prices offered in these ads are still far below the real estate market.
In a nutshell, an ad offering you a completely renovated house. Including, it is situated in an idyllic neighborhood and far below the prices charged is definitely a scam. In this case, do not take any risk! Avoid contacting the author of the ad.
File charges without visiting a housing: a scam for sure!
Scammers often use the same methods to withdraw your money. The classic scenario is to charge you a booking fee or a security deposit for accommodation. That you’ve never seen. Indeed, under the pretext, they’ll tell you that they are abroad. The owners of these fictitious goods will get you to send them money through cash terms (like Western Union). To justify this transaction, the scammers do not lack imagination.
Death, inability to travel for medical reasons, overly busy schedule…! All the excuses are good to avoid a possible visit to the accommodation you wish to rent. If you are looking for student accommodation, make sure you don’t pay anything without signing a lease.
In any case, always be attentive! The scammers are constantly improving their techniques. Besides they are continually developing new methods. They have only one goal: to get your money.
What are hosting sites doing to avoid fraudulent accommodation offers?
Sites that host rental ads do everything to identify and remove fraudulent accommodation deals. In this way, much of the housing scams are filtered before being published on the Net. However, scammers do not lack in resources. Some of them manage to slip through the cracks with highly realistic advertisements.
If in doubt, immediately contact the site that has posted a suspicious accommodation offer. They will direct you to safe ads, which will not cause you any problems. In any case, vigilance is the best technique to thwart scammers. When you talk to a lessor, be attentive to their requests. If some of its demands you look strange, do not go further.
What to do when you are the victim of a rental scam?
At first, don’t feel guilty! Many people are regularly ripped off online. You are not the first and, unfortunately, you will not be the last. So there is no need to be embarrassed. If by chance you have been a victim of a fraud attempt, you can’t, unfortunately, do anything except report the ad. Don’t waste a moment, immediately notify the site that posted this fraudulent ad. They will make every effort to blacklist scammer. In the event that you’ve made money payments, immediately contact the police.
– First, never, under any circumstances, make a money order at the request of a lessor. This payment method is often used by scammers to get money in the shortest time possible. So that no remedy is left for their victims.
– Pay attention to overly attractive rental offers. Generally, when it’s too good to be true, it’s a scam.
– Never pay money without signing a contract! Indeed, the owners have no right to ask you for a deposit.
– Remember to report any suspicious ads immediately.
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