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Beware of Rental Scams

28 Jul 2014 Melton 0 Comment

Scams come in all types, and one that frequently rears its head is the rental scam.

Be aware

There are frequent stories telling of how scammers dupe three renters out of thousands of dollars by placing ads for rental properties online, pretending to be the property manager.

The fake agent gets prospective tenants to sign a lease agreement and take their money – then disappear.

Only pay in advance to a registered real estate agent

Rental scams are a type of ‘advance fee fraud’, in which a scammer promises a financial reward or some other benefit – in this case a rental property – but first asks a consumer to make an up-front payment.

Data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) shows Australians lost more than $93 million to scams in 2012. Around $30 million was related to advance free fraud, by far the most common scams category.

Stick to reputable property sites

In a typical scenario, scammers advertise rental properties on well-known property websites. When you express interest, they say they are overseas or interstate and that you must conduct the transaction online.

Scammers may try to appear genuine by providing photos, real addresses, land title deeds and even scans of stolen passports. They scam you by asking for bond and rent money to secure the property.

They also ask for personal details such as bank and credit card numbers and driver’s licence details, which they use for credit card and identify fraud.

The best defence against a scam is you.

Make sure you know what to look out for when searching for a rental property online:

If you are looking for a rental property or want to know more about this article contact the property management team here at the Professionals Ryder Real Estate Melton, you can contact us by phone or email.

 

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