DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Summer is a prime time for people to move their homes.
But with that comes the potential for rental scams.
John North, President and CEO of the Dayton Better Business Bureau spoke with Mark Allan about what to look out for if you’re looking for a new place to live.
The BBB often hears from consumers that sign leases for new homes and when they arrive to move in they learn the homes were never being leased to begin with and other families are happily living in them.
That leaves the victims without homes to move into and the money they sent the alleged landlords for the security deposits and rent payments.
Stories like this are far too common and are happening in communities across the nation.
Scammers often advertise rentals that don’t exist or aren’t available to trick people into sending money before they find out the truth.
Some scammers will create a modified advertisement for a real rental and replace the original contact information with theirs. The advertised rent is often very low and scammers will avoid meeting with you in person.
Their goal is to take your hard-earned cash or to steal your identity.
Here are some tips to help avoid rental scams:
- Ask family and friends for recommendations.
- Do not wire transfer money.
- Never pay before meeting the owner or signing a lease. If you cannot meet the owner in person or visit the location yourself, do a search on the owner and listing. If you find the same ad listed under a different name, that’s a clue it may be a scam.
- Pay with a credit card. Paying with a credit card gives you some protection.
- Watch out for deals that are too good to be true. Scammers lure you in by promising low rent, extra amenities, great locations and other perks.
If you have been the victim of a rental scam contact the Better Business Bureau through their website or call 937-222-5825.