Are you looking to move and need to find a rental property? Beware of scam rental postings. Criminals will steal pictures on-line of other properties , both rentals and places for-sale. They will post them through free listing services at a low rental price. Frequently they also steal the information from the original listing word for word. How can you avoid losing money to a rental scam?
1) Be cautious when using searching for houses and apartment on free sites. While you can find legitimate listings, you will find more scams.
2) Beware of listings that are too cheap for the area. In the Boise area, you can expect rentals at about $1 per square foot or higher. A 1400 square foot rental for $800 is too good of a deal.
3) If the landlord can only talk via email or text, that’s another warning sign. Especially if they come up with a really good story why they can’t talk or show you the place.
4) Always walk off the place first. If they can not show you the place, be VERY cautious. If they tell you to drive by and peak in the windows, be cautious as well. You should always drive by and take a look, but if someone is living there or there is a for sale sign, its probably not for rent. Talk to the people living there, talk to neighbors, etc.
5) A trick you can use is to Google search the description in the listing or the address if they include it. If its listed for sale or for a rent through a company for more money, the listing you are looking at is probably a scam. You can even try a image search on the pictures they use.