October 25, 2016

Don't be Spoofed: Take Two

It's spooky out there. Keep yourself and your information safe and secure – don't be spoofed! National Cyber Security Awareness month is a good time to reflect and take some steps to become more cyber savvy. Today's topic? Online rental scams.

Online rental scams are easier to explain than they are to spot. In a rental scam, fraudsters place Internet ads using photos of properties they don't own and then collect security deposits and first month rent checks from trusting renters who didn't take the time – or didn't know how – to check out the facts.

According to the latest FBI statistics, nearly 12,000 victims filed complaints about online real estate fraud in 2015 and, on average, lost $3,600 per scam. Watch our video to help you spot phony online rental ads and avoid becoming a fraud statistic.

Remember, rental scams increase when rental markets are tight, like they are now. They also tend to peak during prime moving months - May and September.

Read our last Don't be Spoofed post on phishing and visit My Home by Freddie MacSM for more information about renting, buying or owning a home.