A person has been looking everywhere for an apartment or house to rent. There aren’t any available in the area they’d like to live. When they do find something that suits them, it costs more than they want or are able to pay. Finally, they find something listed online in an ideal location and for a great price. They are excited and want to act quickly to secure it. They may even drive by the provided address to make sure it is truly something they want to pursue. Without hesitation, they provide their personal information, possibly their social security number for a required credit check. They may even wire money as a deposit to further guarantee securing the unit.
The scenario described above can unfold in a number of ways and the results and losses can vary. But the bottom line is this person has just been scammed! The rental at the specified location is fictitious. The so-called security deposit will have been lost and worse yet, they are left at immediate risk for identity theft.
Unfortunately, this practice is not unusual or uncommon. Do not fall prey to these scams by giving out personal information or money unless you have first verified it is a legitimate offering.
Be cautious, don’t let your guard down and stay informed. John & Cindy Farrell 978-468-9576
Originally posted August 2014