Rental listing scams after a hurricane

If you, or someone you know, were displaced after Hurricane Florence or Michael, finding a new place to live is a priority. But before you pay any money, be cautious of rental listing scams. Scammers often advertise rentals that don’t exist to trick people into sending money before they find out the truth.

Some scammers hijack a real rental or real estate listing by changing the email address or other contact information, and placing the modified ad on another site. The altered ad may even use the name of the person who posted the original ad. In other cases, scammers have hijacked the email accounts of property owners on reputable rental websites. Other rip-off artists make up listings for places that aren’t for rent or don’t exist.

Here are some signs you may be dealing with a scam:

  • They tell you to wire money. There’s never a good reason to wire money to pay a security deposit, application fee, or first month’s rent. That’s true even if they send you a contract first. Wiring money is like sending cash — once you send it, you have no way to get it back.
  • They want a security deposit or first month’s rent before you’ve met or signed a lease. If you can’t visit the residence, ask someone you trust to go and confirm that it’s for rent, and that it’s what was advertised. Also do a search on the owner and listing. If you find the same ad listed under a different name, that’s a clue it may be a scam.

If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to local law enforcement and the FTC at

For more tips and links to resources, see Picking up the pieces after a hurricane.

This article by the FTC was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

The post Rental listing scams after a hurricane appeared first on Personal Finance Syndication Network.

About Damon Day

As a Debt Coach and a Financial Advocate, I have saved my clients Millions of Dollars by exposing the debt relief scams that other consumers fall victim to. I work directly for my clients to create custom debt relief strategies based on their own unique circumstances. Consumers who speak with me first, come out far ahead of those who don't, every single time. Guaranteed. +Damon Day