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Avoid Scams and Fraud

We want your experience on to be as successful and safe as possible. Whether in your interactions with others here or offsite, we can't stress it enough: stay safe and be wary of fraudulent tricks and "opportunities" that are, as they seem, too good to be true. Although it is impossible to list all the tricks and scams out there, below is a list of the most common ones in regards to finding a place to share or rent.

Fantastic place for a price "too good to be true"

Fantastic price! Jump at the opportunity! Quick, before the world comes to an end! When you see this, run. As the saying goes, "if it seems too good to be true, it IS.” Resist the natural inclination to flock towards steals and deals. If their “explanations” or refusal/inability to show you the place has your Spidey senses tingling, stop all communications with the other party and report the listing.

Landlord or Current Roommate is "out of town" for awhile

Practice a suspicious eye squint. Be very wary of "out of town" landlords and people searching for a new roommate that are unable to meet you in person, or perhaps even talk on the phone. And do not be fooled by someone that WILL talk on the phone and appears to have a local number, because in this day and age you can get an online number and "appear" to be just about anywhere. Contact them via their social media profiles, research them personally (and any alleged business) online and make contact directly.

Requests to pay using Western Union, Money Gram etc.

If someone requests for the deposit and/or first month’s rent to be sent in advance using Western Union, Money Gram, cashier's check etc., click on that "Report" button and turn on your heels! While these services themselves are not fraudulent, they are a common way for scammers to get non-refundable money from unsuspecting people that are willing to believe, and do, almost anything to avoid missing out on that infamous "too good to be true".

Better is to make your transactions in person, or through a well-established company in good standing with the Better Business Bureau that specializes in lease/rent/deposit transactions and offers comprehensive consumer protection.

They pay too much in advance and expect a partial refund immmediately

This can be a very misleading tactic, where someone sends a check, cashier’s check or online payment but "accidentally" sends too much! Oh no, now they can’t afford to feed little Jimmy! They then request a partial refund for the difference, usually via (you guessed it!) Western Union or wire transfer. Don't fall for it. This "oversight" was almost certainly intended to empty your wallet! They are taking advantage of trusting people who deposit a check and believe that the bank's accepting the check for processing proves it was a valid check… not the case! It can take a bank three weeks to process and verify a check and, if you send the "refund,” you will most likely discover later on that the check has bounced, the cashier’s check was a fake or the online payment was disputed and cancelled.

If someone claims they have sent too much, suggest applying the extra towards the next months rent or giving the partial refund in person when they move in. Then wink with that wise old Sherlock charisma.

Requests for you to send the money to yourself to prove you have the funds

Here’s a clever one: They pretend they’re nervous about you .They might request you send money to yourself via Western Union or something similar in order to "prove" you have the funds necessary. Seems reasonable and safe enough, right? It is, until they make a fake I.D. and pick up the money sent in your name! Jeepers creepers. Do NOT fall for this trick and REPORT the incident for fraud and identity theft!

Report Potential Scam and Fraud Listings

We do our best to take down fraudulent listings and scams, but the best way to keep safe is for users to whistleblow in the face of injustice. Use the "Report" button on the listing details page or via our Contact Us page.

Report Online Fraud

If you suspect or have already become a victim of online fraud, report the incident immediately to your local law enforcement authorities. Additionally, you should also consider contacting the following agencies that deal with online fraud:

Report Identity Theft

If you believe that your personal and/or financial information has been revealed to (or stolen by) a person who might use it inappropriately, visit the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft website for important information about protecting yourself.