Spotting a rental scam: Scam Watch

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) The Better Business Bureau is putting you on the lookout for fake rental sites trying to scam you out of your money.

The BBB estimates more than five million people have lost an average of $400 in rental scams.

Scammers overseas create bogus rental postings on sites like Craigslist, offering what looks like amazing deals on rental properties they don’t even own.

So how do you spot a fake? Here are some telltale signs:

  • Prices that are too good to be true! Such as an apartment offered for $500 when you know it would normally go for $750 or more in that area.
  • If you ask to see the property before you rent and they won’t let you or scammers ask you to send the security deposit before you even sign or see the conditions.
  • If they ask you to pay via Western Union, Moneygram or a gift card.

If you agree to meet at the rental property, the BBB suggests you ask to see identification to make sure they are, who they say they are.

If you do happen to fall for a scam, contact local police, the Federal Trade Commission and the F.B.I.

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