October 10, 2017

Be Wicked Smart About Online Rental Scams

We're continuing our "Be Wicked Smart" series in celebration of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Our last post focused on phishing scams targeted at homeowners. Today we're talking about 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 13,000 victims filed complaints about online real estate fraud in 2016 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 Be Wicked Smart on phishing settlement scams and visit My Home by Freddie MacSM for more information about renting, buying or owning a home.