How to detect housing scams and frauds?

Housing - June 11, 2019

After avoiding moving scams and relocating to the new neighborhood, the last thing you’ll want to happen is for you to become the victim of housing scams. Scammers like to take advantage of people who are on house hunting because the mixture of their relocation and emotions makes these people an easy target. However, scams can be easily avoided and we are here to show you exactly how. In order to do so, we have prepared a comprehensive guide for you regarding housing and rental scams. Make sure to read it before you start searching for your dream home!

What are housing scams?

In life, there are many situations in which you can become a victim. When it comes to relocation, there are two types of scams you might encounter if you’re not careful enough. One of these scams is the one that includes fraudulent moving companies that can ruin your belongings, or even take a large deposit from you before the move and never call you back. The other type is reserved for housing scams. No one can tell which of these two people encounter often. However, a scam is a scam. And every scam is dangerous and leads to many problems. This is why learning how to avoid them is of the utmost importance. However, before we do that, let’s start from the basics. What is a housing scam?

A housing scam is the attempt to get a large or small amount of money from unsuspecting people that are responding to an ad or some other form of communication. People who are in need of emergency movers are in bigger danger of becoming the victims of these scams since they don’t have enough time to organize their move and find the right home. However, it’s important to point out that tenants are the most common targets, but landlords can be targets too.

Residential building.
Housing scams can make the quest for the perfect home take longer than necessary.

What are the most common housing scams?

There’s nothing worse than being extra careful when finding reputable Oak Park movers to relocate your home and then you become the victim of a housing scam because you weren’t paying enough attention. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you might think. In order to avoid these scams, you’ll first need to recognize them. To help you with this step, we have written some of the most common housing scams. As soon as you read them, you’ll be one step closer to mastering how to avoid scams.

Paying a lot of money without seeing the place

In case you find yourself in a situation in which a landlord asks to give him a lot of money for an apartment you haven’t seen, don’t do it! Even if they ask for a couple of dollars, tell them no. We can easily compare this to moving scams since you had the chance to learn all about them on our blog. If a moving company asks to pay for their relocation services upfront, what will you do? You won’t contact them again, of course! Therefore, if a landlord asks of you to give them money without seeing the place, stay away from them and find another home where you’ll move with the help of Chicago reputable movers.

Home interior.
There is no reason why you should pay your potential landlord a deposit for a place you’ve never seen before.

The landlord seems too eager to lease their home

It’s no secret that in every landlord’s interest is to find new tenants as soon as possible. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s common to be asked to sign a lease and give a deposit the same day you’ve said yes to the apartment. You should be suspicious if someone asks you to do this. Of course, in some situations, this is not a red flag. For example, if you need to relocate in a hurry. But, if you don’t need to move in the next day, there’s no reason why you a landlord would ask you to do something like this. You should be extremely cautious because this is a major red flag.

Unusually high deposit

Demanding to pay high deposits or excessive upfront fees is in most cases a sign that you’re dealing with a housing scammer. However, to most people, this doesn’t seem suspicious so the scammers take advantage of their trust and disappear with all their money. Unfortunately, no matter how impossible this might seem to you, these scams happen all the time. Thus, recognizing them it’s very important. Remember, it’s better to misjudge someone and mark them as a potential scammer, then to become a victim because you weren’t careful enough. And one last tip. In case something like this happens to you, make sure to contact The Chicago Police Department. Don’t let the scammers get away with their crime!

Close up of man counting cash.
Not a single landlord can ask for a higher deposit than the one that’s required by law.

Don’t let your guard down!

As you can see, you can choose a moving company that is reliable, but you’ll have to find a reliable home, too. However, this doesn’t mean you should trust nobody. There are many good landlords and not all of them are scammers. You should be cautious and look for the red flags when choosing a home. Here’s what you can do in order to avoid housing scams.

  • Always ask for the landlord’s personal information, such as name, address, and ID.
  • Check whether the address of the listed home really exists. You can do that by using Google Maps.
  • Google the name of your potential landlord. If that person was reported for committing frauds, you’ll find it online.
  • Check the keys to see whether they can open the door of your home. Do this while being accompanied by your landlord.

Last but not least is to keep your guard up. Look for the possible red flags and trust your gut. By following all of the tips from our guide, you’ll avoid housing scams and find the perfect home!


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