Beware of Rental Scams: Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Listings


As the demand for rental properties increases, so does the risk of falling victim to rental scams. Exercise caution when searching for rental accommodation, as scammers have become increasingly sophisticated in their tactics. By altering legitimate ads or creating fake ones, these scammers aim to deceive unsuspecting individuals into providing personal information, security deposits, and even rent payments. This blog post will explore the warning signs and provide essential tips to protect yourself from rental scams.

  • Recognize the Warning Signs: Fraudulent listings can appear genuine at first glance, but there are red flags to watch out for. Here are some indicators that should raise your suspicion:
  • Inability to physically see the property: Be cautious if the homeowner or property manager refuses to meet or show you the property. This is often a strong indication of a scam.
  • Altered contact information: Scammers alter legitimate ads by changing the contact details or even hacking into the email accounts of realtors. Verify the authenticity of the contact information before proceeding.
  • Properties not on the market: Some scammers list properties unavailable for rent. Be cautious if a listing seems too good or doesn’t match other reputable sources.

Safeguard Yourself

Protecting yourself from rental scams requires vigilance and smart decision-making. Follow these essential tips:

  • Verify the legitimacy of the listing: Take the time to research the rental company or real estate listings associated with the ad. Cross-check the information provided by reliable sources.
  • Avoid wiring payments or purchasing gift cards: Scammers often request wire transfers for application fees, security deposits, or rent payments. Never send money through wire transfers or purchase gift cards as a form of payment.
  • Confirm the homeowner or property manager’s identity: Before providing any personal information, ensure that you are dealing with an authentic person. Don’t provide your Social Security number or any sensitive details without verification.
  • Visit the official website: To stay informed about the latest scams, visit the Attorney General’s website at They provide valuable resources and information to help protect yourself from fraudulent activities.

As the winter approaches and the demand for rental properties rises, it’s crucial to remain vigilant about rental scams. Recognizing the warning signs and following the suggested precautions can safeguard you from falling prey to these fraudulent listings. Remember, being cautious and verifying information is key to securing a legitimate rental property and protecting yourself from potential financial losses.

Stay informed, and stay safe! As we navigate the digital world, always remember vigilance is our best defence. For additional protection against scams, consider downloading our FRAUDSTER APP for Apple and Android devices at

Terry Cutler

I’m Terry Cutler, the creator of Internet Safety University, an educational system helping to defend corporations and individuals against growing cyber threats. I’m a federal government-cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the founder of Cyology Labs, a first-line security defence firm headquartered in Montréal, Canada. In 2020, I wrote a bestselling book about the secrets of internet safety from the viewpoint of an ethical hacker. I’m a frequent contributor to National & Global media coverage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and social network dangers families and individuals face daily.