Best Practices When Searching for Housing

Tips for Avoiding Internet Scams and Fraud

• When in doubt, check it out! Be aware of scammers claiming to be landlords. Scamming emails are often full of grammatical and spelling errors; are eager to provide detailed information/photos not requested; and they request a deposit before the potential tenant has had a chance to preview the rental property.

• Have a signed housing agreement with the property owner/manager before wiring funds (using Western Union or any other carrier).

• Never give out personal financial information (e.g., checking account number, SSN).

• Trust your instincts. If something seems strange, or you don't feel completely comfortable with a landlord, do not rent from them and discontinue further correspondence.

If you suspect that you have been targeted by a rental scam, report it to your local law enforcement agency immediately.

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