What Are Rental Scams?

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Roxy
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What Are Rental Scams?

Post by Roxy »

Rental scams usually involve the rental of a house or an apartment. With these scams the scammers will offer to rent you either a fictitious property or one that is actually available for rent somewhere, but where they aren’t either the true owner or the real landlord. The scam operates where they simply get you to pay some money in advance, either as a deposit or as the full rent for the property for a period of time. Once the money is paid to the scammer, then the scammer often just disappears.

These scams are always conducted online and never at the actual location of the property nor do you ever get any access at all to the real property. So you never actually visit the property in real life or meet the scammer in person. But the scammers will send lots of photos, rental agreements, and all kinds of things to make the scam appear like a legitimate rental.

With many of these scams, the scammer's will also tell you that they are a reverend father or a person in the military. Some will say they are subletting their property for a short period of time while they go off on an assignment somewhere. All false, made-up information of course.

Sometimes rental scammers will also talk about some involvement with AirBNB, Flip-Key, Apartments.com, or some other established rental websites, to make you feel more secure in the transition and make the scam seem more legitimate and sound more convincing.

Rental scammers also regularly implement the use of fraudulent and fake websites into the scams. They may start the rental scam by tying into or referencing a real rental website (as mentioned above), but eventually they may lead you onto other fake and fraudulent websites that they control. The website links the scammers provide may often be disguised to look like familiar websites too, but the links can also be spoofed to ultimately lead you onto fake sites that are separate from any legitimate rental websites.

In all cases though these scams involve a type of fraudulent criminal practice known as “Advance Fee Fraud”, a.k.a. “419 Scams”. If you are not yet familiar with these two terms then the following article on Wikipedia can help you to understand more about how most of these types of scams operate: Wikipedia Link

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