You may have read in the news that social media rental scams that involve fake lettings agents and bogus landlords have unfortunately been on the increase in recent years. If you’re looking for a property to rent in Bedfordshire, it’s important to be aware of this so that you ensure you are only ever dealing with a reputable lettings agent.
What Should I Know About Social Media Rental Scams?
There are now more scams than ever affecting the private rental sector and criminals have two common modes of operation.
One way they attempt to con prospective tenants is by placing a fake advert for a property to let. When the potential tenant shows an interest, they trick them into paying a holding deposit, security deposit, and other kinds of fees upfront without letting them view the property. Typically, they steal property details and photographs from genuine estate agent websites.
The other way in which prospective tenants are targeted is when the scammer contacts someone who has posted on social media platforms asking if anybody is aware of a home to rent, and tells them they have the ideal property. If the potential renter shows an interest, they then follow up with images and details stolen from a genuine lettings agent website and, again, ask for upfront fees to be paid without giving the tenant a chance to view the property.
How Do I Spot A Facebook Property Scammer?
It can be difficult to spot a property scammer using social media to trick you into sending money for a non-existent rental home. However, there are some key things to look out for.
- Often scammers will ask to correspond through WhatsApp. You should never agree to this.
- A genuine lettings agent or estate agent like Sperring Residential will never ask for any payment information via social media platforms.
How Can I Avoid A Rental Property Online Scam?
- Be careful when posting on social media if you are trying to find a rental property as this can expose you to unscrupulous scammers. If someone contacts you about a property to rent claiming to be acting on behalf of a specific agency, always be sceptical and contact the agency in question directly.
- A genuine letting agent won’t mind you checking their credentials, so always go back to the named agent to find out whether the person who contacted you is genuinely working for them.
- You should never give out your payment details via a social media platform and never pay for anything upfront via these channels. A genuine agent will have strict processes in place to ensure that transactions are executed securely.
How Do I Get In Touch?
Finally, you should always take the time to research any potential landlord, property, or letting agent before you agree to pay any money. It makes sense to look for a rental property through a reliable and trusted agent like Sperring Residential so you can be confident you aren’t inadvertently exposing yourself to any criminal activity.
Get in touch with our rental team today on 01582 825 548 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and start your search for the perfect home for you.