Consumers in search of an apartment or house to rent often rely on online rental listings in order to find the right place, especially if they’re looking in another city or state.
Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage. Some make up phony listings, and try to lure renters with the promise of extra-low rent. They ask potential renters to send money before they see the apartment or sign a lease.
The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, wants to help consumers hang on to their hard-earned money by showing them how they can spot a rental scam. The FTC has developed a new Consumer Alert, Rental Listings May Be Red Herrings.
To learn more about avoiding rental scams, go to http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt002.shtm.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.(FYI rental scams)