Tenant Scams: How To Spot Them And Avoid Them - FAMILY

Summer Phillips Written by Summer Phillips
Last Updated: 1/15/2021
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Tenant Scams:  How To Spot Them And Avoid Them

Moving into a new home/apartment is nerve-racking. It isn't easy to find an apartment or home that fits your every need. However, on every blue moon, you might luck out and find the home or apartment of your dreams - or at least you THINK you did.

Sadly, scammers will create online applications for people to rent beautiful houses and apartments at a fraction of the realistic costs. It’s always a good idea to follow the "golden rule": If it seems way too good to be true, it probably is!

The fraudster’s online form usually starts by asking for a deposit for the apartment or home. Most of the homes and apartments on the scammers’ websites have already been leased or do not exist at all.

About 43.1% of renters had said they underwent a scam in 2018 in the United States. Nearly one million people reported that they lost more than $2,000 in renters scams, and two million people lost about $500. The cities with the highest renting cons include Atlanta, which has the highest number of rental scams, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, and Denver. The inexperienced renters are usually the ones that are hit the hardest by these scams. Between the ages of 19-29, about 42% are likely to experience renter fraud. This percentage could be for several reasons: they do not double-check who they are renting from or because this is the age group that usually rents more than buys. Nevertheless, this is still a big issue. It is smart to stay educated on what scams occur when renting a new place, no matter what age you are.

How Scammers Trick You

Many scammers are computer savvy and will take over real listings online. The scammers do this by creating a fake email or phone number, uploading that information, and listing it all onto a fake website. They will sometimes use the realtor's real name on the website that posted the actual listing. That way, if you were to look up the realtor's background, you would most likely see real reviews making you trust the faulty website even more.

If the scammers do not take that route, they will sometimes take over existing email accounts of realtors or property owners and pretend to be them. Scammers will do something called phantom rentals. This action is where the scammer will post a beautiful home or apartment for rent with over the top amenities at a low cost. This ad draws many naive people. Making them believe they just found a great deal, causing them to rush on renting the place. However, the place most likely does not exist.

How to Avoid Scammers

  • Use advanced people search engine technology like to help you search and find information on the person holding themselves out as a realtor, landlord or property managers. This will reveal who you are REALLY dealing with.
  • Do an online search for the company. On the listing website, there are usually reviews, realtor names, or property manager's names.
  • Always check to see where the property is listed. A home for rent will be listed worldwide, such as Zillow, Craigslist, and RedFin. If your dream home is on all of those websites, you will most likely not be undergoing a scam.
  • Another beneficial activity before leasing a house is checking who lives around that area. You can do this by utilizing the address query on people search platforms like
  • If you ever feel like you are undergoing a fraud, call your nearby law authorization to investigate the circumstance.
  • Do not trust landlords that ask you to send them money in cash. You should be able to send the money electronically or by check. Always independently confirm the email address and contact information by looking online yourself. Do not trust the email or phone given to you, this may be fraudulent.
  • Ask for your lease agreement to be printed and or written. Review it before signing and paying.
  • Do not rent a home or apartment you have not visited. By seeing the property first hand will ensure it is real and that the owner understands the condition or the place. Ask neighbors about the place. You might be shocked to find out it is NOT for rent at all!
  • Make sure that the price is not too perfect. Check what the costs are in that area of other homes to ensure it fits what you are asked to pay.
  • Upfront payments are not a thing, so if a landlord asks you to do this, be careful, this could be a scam.
  • Always meet the owner of the property in person. Almost never will scammers meet you in person, many scammers are not even in the U.S.
  • Search for an apartment on the website StreetEasy. It makes the agents pay money to list properties making it a trustworthy site.
  • Make sure you do not put down a deposit until you have seen the unit. If the owner does not want to give you an in-person or virtual tour, you should refuse to pay.
  • Do not pay for your background checks. If your property owner asks you to pay for your background check, consult with a realtor about it first.
  • Never pay in cash. If you pay by debit or credit card, banks can track your payment, and you may be able to get your money back if you underwent a scam.
  • If you do not feel safe making a deal with the property owner, trust your gut. Usually, those weird feelings in your stomach can sense danger. Never be afraid to speak up for yourself.

What Is GladiKnow And How Can It Help You With Rental Scams

You might have noticed the name GladiKnow pop up a couple of times in this post, and you are probably wondering what it is. GladiKnow is an advanced people search engine. This search technology instantly combs through hundreds of millions of public records (both online and offline) immediately to locate a particular person. They make searching for people much more accessible than on social media sites and provide much more detailed information.

These people search engines will provide you with all sorts of information on your future property manager or landlord. They will perform a thorough search for their addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, relatives, associates and social media, criminal background, licenses, weapon permits, and employment. Very importantly, the search is always 100% confidential. The only person that knows about your research and the results is you.

Utilizing an advanced people search engine like will help you gather all the information on your landlord or property manager in a matter of minutes. This step will help you stay safe and confirm that you are making the right choice to rent or not rent a property. No matter if you think the landlord or property manager is a suitable person, performing a background check is an easy and reliable way to ensure you are making the right choice.

For more information on people search engines and how they work, check out this great video.


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