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What are Rental Scams and how to avoid them - A Brief Guideline

What are Rental Scams and how to avoid them - A Brief Guideline

25 Aug 2022


Going abroad for education or employment is exciting but not without several dangers and problems that, if not guarded against timely, can lead to grave troubles. Expatriates from developing countries go to developed countries for better jobs, earn money and send money online back home to support their families financially.

Where expatriates find travelling and getting jobs in a foreign country easy, the critical confusion that expatriates face is the arrangement of accommodation that is mainly rented. This is where the rental scams creep in, and the scammers prey on the would-be tenants. 

Of course, you have to live in a rented apartment in a foreign land as you are going there to seek jobs or education. You have no acquaintances there, and even you are a stranger. Therefore, the first thing you urgently need is shelter as soon as you land. 
 

For this, you must make arrangements before coming or soon after reaching. It entails a high chance of you becoming a victim of rental fraudsters. 
 

What is a rental scam?

Rental fraud occurs when property owners or tenants misrepresent themselves and manipulate facts and truths about the property they are interested in renting. 

In other words, they neither show what they actually want to deliver nor do you get what you are promised in the fake ads. One of the growing rental scams is the online listing that attracts most foreign visitors, overseas workers, and international students. Let’s look at some quick facts about rental scams worldwide.

According to The Business Times report, almost 144 people lost nearly 190,000 USD due to rental scams from January to March 2022 (merely in three months). 

Rental scams have affected millions of people across the world and in America. In the USA, in 2022, almost 11,578 people lost nearly $350,328,166 due to rental scams.

Apartment List Survey, conducted in 2018, revealed that about 5 million Americans fell victim to rental scams.

Even though the number of people falling victim to this scam never decreases, several people continue to become victims of the same fraud.
 

Types of rental scams 

The following are the most common types of rental scams. 

 

  1. In the first type, the scammers will copy the details of a genuine rental site and alter those subtly. Then they will allure you to make a deposit by lowering the price much more than the actual market rates. They’ll indirectly push you to make payments and will adopt evasive techniques and pretexts to avoid showing the said property around.
  2. In the second type, the scammers will send someone claiming to be a representative of the estate you have contacted. They will show you the original documents of real property they have somehow acquired but have no legal rights to sell or rent it out. But, they will insist you pay rent or deposit in advance. 
  3. In the third type, the scammers will force you to make payment through a global money transfer once they have shown you the copied or stolen ads. The scammers will not show you the interior of the property they have promised you and instead show you its exterior unless you make the payment that, once completed, is impossible to trace. 
  4. In the fourth type, the scammers will show you the videos and photos of the property that just does not exist in the first place. The visuals may be true and copied from a real property scheme, but the address, pricing and other details will be different and lower than the real.
     

Avoiding rental scams

The following tips will help you quickly spot and guard against rental scams. 
 

  • As a first step, make sure you know all the types of rental scams, a few most common ones have been listed above.
  • Visit the property yourself or send someone you trust to visit it on your behalf to see if there is any difference between what lies on the ground and in the advertisement.
  • Take measures to verify who owns the property. Someone pretending to be the owner and contacting you directly to discuss the nitty-gritty is a red flag.
  • Contact professional property management companies. Making payments through these companies is the best way to guard against scams.
  • Never pay online for the rented property because these payments are not traceable, and once paid, the scammer will disappear without leaving any proof behind. 
  • Never share your details and personal information with those you rent a property from because doing so can lead to identity theft.
  • Beware of the rates and the prices as the scams will offer too low rent or price than the market rates.
  • It will be a warning sign if you are told to make payment directly into a bank account or outside the proper legal platform.
  • Exercise caution while entering your detail into a website and thoroughly check if the website is real or fake.

 

Money transfer online – the need for every diaspora

The financial woes of the people of developing countries push them into acute poverty and lead them to travel to developed countries for better jobs.

They earn money from there and look for money transfer services featuring low fees, instant transfers, competitive currency exchange rates, safety, accessibility and 24*7 service availability and convenience to transfer.
 

ACE Money Transfer – a worry-free money transfer service 

At ACE Money Transfer, you get all the featured services under one roof to deliver funds! It complements your online money transfer needs and requirements in ways others struggle to conceive. The company has a widespread payout partner network of more than 350,000, with millions of customers worldwide. You can transfer funds using ACE’s mobile app or website portal 24x7 from the middle of your comfort zone.


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