Protect Yourself from Scams

When it comes to rental scams, people most often hear of the renter being the one scammed. And that scam usually comes in the form of a too-good-to-be-true apartment on CraigsList with a key that will be delivered upon receipt of a check.

But property owners can be victims of scams, too. Tenants can move in and immediately entangle the owner in a legal battle that saves the renter from paying rent. Or images posted by a property owner can be taken and used by someone else posing as a property owner. The only way to combat these scams is to protect yourself wisely.

When posting your rental on a site like CraigsList, photos are a must to help you stand out from the crowd and highlight your fabulous place. But before you post those photos, watermark them to help deter people from using your photos as their own. It also is a good idea to give street coordinates for your rental rather than the full address and keep your home phone and cell phone numbers off the web. Use an email address dedicated to your rental properties instead. And always screen candidates on the phone before agreeing to show your property. Someone out to scam you likely will be reluctant to divulge too much information, and you’ll see that red flag a mile away.

The hope is always that the first person you’ll meet will be the perfect tenant, saving you the headache of searching. But that won’t always be the case and you might even run into some unscrupulous people when renting your property. It’s always wise to protect yourself.

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