What to Do If You’re the Victim Of An Apartment Renting Scam

Taking action after an apartment renting scam can make you feel empowered, and your actions could help catch the person behind it all.

Most apartment hunters do not act after becoming the victim of an apartment renting scam. Some do not act because of strong feelings, like fear, anger, embarrassment, or denial. Others don’t act because they do not realize the options that are available to them. But taking action after an apartment renting scam can make you feel empowered, and your actions could help catch the person behind the fraud. Here are some tips on exactly what to do after an apartment renting scam.

Call The Police

You should notify your local law enforcement if you’ve been scammed. Even if you do not feel optimistic about going this route, the information you supply the police might be just enough to help them find the scammer and get your money returned. Also, until you notify the authorities, you will not know if you’re the only victim of this scam.

Contact the Ad Publisher about The Apartment Renting Scam

If the apartment renting scam originated from an advertisement, let the publisher know precisely what happened. Most print and online publishers take scams very seriously and would appreciate knowing about issues with their listings. Look up any customer service phone numbers or their email addresses. Some publishers go the extra mile of asking readers who think they’ve been scammed to send them the details. This way, they can remove the apartment off of their listings.

File a Complaint with the FTC

If you are a victim of an apartment renting scam in the United States, think about reporting the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (or FTC), the federal consumer protection agency. They might be able to help you deal with the situation as well.

Review Any Red Flags

Although apartment renting scams always seem to strike when we least expect them to, there are a few common warning signs. Try to familiarize yourself with them to help identify and avoid renting scams. Some of these signs include paying for your apartment without having met anyone yet, unusually high-security deposits or upfront fees, or unneeded sales pressure from your landlord.

Share Your Apartment Renting Scam Story

If you have been scammed, consider sharing your rental scam story with people you know. Writing about the experience, even anonymously, can make you feel a bit better. Plus, reading other people’s stories might help remind you that you are not the only one. Rental scams happen.

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