Please bear these points in mind to avoid online scams:
- It looks to good to be true – It probably is then, be wary of very cheap rents in an area or brochure style photos.
- Money transfer– There is no trace on money transfers (such as Western Union) and that’s why scammers use it. If anyone requests you use money transfer be concerned, ask if they will accept a different payment method. Don’t give anyone a receipt for a money transfer transaction even if the transfer was to someone you know, the scammer is trying to access the funds.
- Visit the room – The best way to see if a room is real is to visit it and meet the person renting it. Be wary of anyone who will not allow you to visit the room.
- Overseas – Most scams originate overseas if someone tells you they are overseas on holiday or on business be concerned, particularly if they say you can’t see the room.
- Money upfront – Deposits are normal in renting, paying money upfront to secure a room is not. See the room and meet the person before you pay anything upfront.
- Cheques – If you recieve an overpayment by cheque, the scammer may request a refund for the overpayment by money transfer – it’s a scam.
- Too pushy – If someone for example says you must pay by money transfer and nothing else be cautious. Scammers need to make you do certain things if you’re unsure or it doesn’t feel right ask questions.