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Scam Alert for Renters

Rental fraud has been reported across the country.

Possible signs of a housing scam:
  • The deal is too good to be true.
  • The rent is very low, and the landlord offers to pay all utilities.
  • The actual address is not disclosed.
  • They ask you for money or a credit card number before you view the property.
  • They ask you to wire money.
  • The landlord is out of town or out of the country.

Protect yourself!

  • Watch for warning signs and avoid situations where you feel pressured or uncomfortable.
  • Any money you pay before viewing the property AND verifying that you are dealing with the actual owner or manager of a property may be money lost. Scammers have been known to show others' properties to victims.
  • DO NOT pay a security deposit or any other deposit until you have signed a lease.
  • DO NOT share your credit card information before signing a lease, if ever.
  • DO NOT wire money to cover deposits and fees prior to viewing and deciding upon a property.
  • Get your prospective landlord's name, home address and telephone number to verify them through the following resources:
    • City or County property records, local Clerk of Court or Register of Deeds - information can often be found online
    • A building's manager, if there is one
    • Department of Consumer Affairs and BBB to see if any complaints have been filed against the landlord
    • Ask for references from the landlord, preferably from former tenants

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, contact your local law enforcement agency.

Find out more in a news release from the Federal Trade Commission. To report a listing on this service that you think is a scam, click here .

Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

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