Housing websites scams – SCAM OF THE MONTH

Housing websites scams – SCAM OF THE MONTH


checked top housing websites, keeping her eye out for the perfect one. To her dismay, there wasn't much that her budget could afford in the area, but she kept looking.

Until, she found it!

A cute one bedroom with a park view. The price was listed well below other rentals in the area, but the Agent would be able to show her the property within the week (for a small fee). The owner was out of the country on business and so they did not want a lot of people in and out of the house unless they were serious.

Before Georgia could respond to the Agent's outreach with potential times to view the property, they replied that the week had already booked up with viewings. The Agent said the location wouldn't last long with it's low price, and recommended that Georgia skip the formalities and sign the lease, directly wiring the deposit to the owner, so that should could lock in the space.

Did you spot the red flags?

  • The rental was much lower in price than that of the other properties in the area.
  • Gorgia was requested to pay for a viewing, which is not a typical practice of viewing rental properties.
  • The Agent used high-pressure tactics to urge Georgia into placing a deposit quickly.

What you should know about this scam

Even legitimate housing websites can be host to fraudulent homes and rentals. Should you encounter such a scam, be sure to report it to the website or app where the post was listed.

Wiring money is essentially the same as sending cash. Once it's sent, it's gone. If you wouldn't feel comfortable sending cash for something like a deposit, think twice before agreeing to wire money.

Scammers typically like to stay on-trend. And since summer is peak moving season for those considering a change in residence, use caution when looking into properties during these warmer months, or when searching around areas that have seen a lot of recent growth or an increase in population.