Keys to avoiding home rental scams

According to National Rental Home Council (NRHC) members, who are owners of rental homes, scammers use a variety of tactics to get people’s money. Some gain access to keys in lock boxes, make copies, and pose as legitimate rental agents. Others hijack a real rental listing by changing the email address or other contact information and then placing the altered ad on another site.

Still others may list a property that’s already leased and then try to collect application fees, security deposits, and even the first month’s rent.

Here are some tip-offs and tools to help you avoid a rental scam:

  • Do an online search of the rental company.
  • Compare prices.
  • Take a tour. 
  • Ask for identification.
  • Before you sign a lease, look for signs at the rental with the name of the property owner or manager.
  • Never pay with cash, wire transfers or gift cards. 


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