WARNING: Treasure Valley Rental Home Scams
This one gets me. When I was in college, I almost fell into a rental property scam. Luckily, I did my research and was able to save myself from a scammer taking my money, or even worse my personal information. Unfortunately, not everyone gets the same break. Now, the Better Business Bureau is warning you of scams like this happening right here in the Treasure Valley.
According to the Idaho Statesman, a Boise man reached out to the BBB about a posting on a classifieds website. He became suspicious about the posting after engaging with the landlord and noticing grammatical errors in their email exchanges. He did some research about the listing and found out the home he was trying to rent was actually owned by another person! The good news is that he did his research before handing over any money or personal information.
So what should you watch for so that you don't become a scammer's next victim? Here are some tips from the BBB (via Idaho Statesman):
Too Good to be True. "Scammers lure you in by promising low rents, extra amenities, great locations and other perks." But if the deal just seems too awesome to be true it probably is.
See the property in person. "If you can’t visit an apartment or house yourself, ask someone you trust to go and confirm that it is what was advertised." This is what saved me when arriving at the property, I realized it looked NOTHING like the photos in the post.
Never wire money. If they're asking you to send money "overseas," this is a HUGE red flag. "Pay with a credit card just in case you need to dispute the charges."
Consider hiring professional help. "Did you know that some real estate agents may offer their services to renters?" Landlords sometimes will hire property managers to handle their rentals, making the process legit.