All About Rental Scams, Including Prevention Tips
Rental Scams: Have you heard about the latest rental scam where a renter lost almost Rs 35,000 while claiming to be charged for apartment visits? These rental frauds have been exposed all around the nation. We must safeguard ourselves from such frauds while promptly spotting the warning signs. Continue reading to learn how scammers operate and what we can do to prevent falling for one.
Across the nation, rental scams are occurring at an alarming pace. In contrast to the previous approach, the transaction may now be readily handled using phones and computers when a prospective renter meets a real estate agent or owner to discover a suitable dwelling unit. It’s interesting how technology has helped to close the divide between landlord and tenant communities. However, con artists are utilising this to their advantage and con people in original ways. The victim typically misses the telltale signs that separate a real person from a con artist.
One such instance that came to light was a tenant in Sector 62 Noida who was defrauded of almost Rs 35,000 under the guise of flat visiting fees. Another incident included a scammer posing as a tenant who tricked a landlord into scanning a QR code. Resulting in the owner losing nearly Rs 3.5 lakh.
Are you looking 2BHK flat for Rent in Kharghar?
What exactly are rental scams?
Rental or lease scams are actions in which a rental property is utilised as bait to obtain money from the landlord or prospective renters. To put it simply. The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and wallet transactions are the main forms of online commerce.
Due to the fact that UPI is directly connected to the victim’s bank account. The dangers are significantly larger in this situation. Scammers typically prey on elderly individuals who are less tech-savvy and use a sense of urgency to get them to fall for their schemes.
What is the typical modus operandi of rental scammers?
The way every scamming trend has a particular operating procedure, rental frauds follow a similar path of action. The first step to understanding the modus operandi is to identify the stakeholders in this operation- the landlords and potential tenants. The scammers try and take advantage of both the parties equally.
When the tenant is scammed
Landlord fraudsters frequently assume the identities of top government officials, military officers, or army authorities. They favour positions that are aspirational, transferable, and foster respect among ordinary people. When contacting the landlord, the con artist typically claims to have an urgent need to locate a place to rent because of an unexpected transfer. They like to make connections with homeowners who have larger apartments and persuade them that their family would be moving in the next month. Additionally, they are prepared to pay the security deposit and monthly rent in advance, no matter how much it may be.
In some instances, they offer fake work records to win people over and even establish video conversations to close the deal. Most of the time, they aim to avoid making in-person visits and instead want to finish the process through online transactions, ideally quickly.
Once everything is settled, they often express interest in renting the apartment by putting down a security deposit and a few months’ worth of rent. It goes without saying that the sum so agreed upon is often in the hundreds of rupees. However, at this stage, con artists create a few restrictions and attempt to deceive a third party.
tenant is scammed
- The scammers typically argue that their job agreement forbids them from making direct bank transfers. Therefore, after doing a small transaction to confirm the victim’s bank information. The con artists give the landlord QR Code via a messaging app like WhatsApp. When the landlord clicks the code, a sizable sum of money is immediately taken out of the landlord’s account. Additionally, the fraudsters are unavailable and untraceable after the transaction is finished.
- In other cases, the con artists start out by asserting that the amount they can transfer from their end is constrained. Therefore, they ask the victim to transfer the agreed-upon money to their (the scammer’s) account, and they would then send twice that amount to the landlord, which could then be adjusted in the rent. In order to validate the account information of the landlord. In certain instances, con artists have said that the landlord has not given them the money. Therefore, the victim would have to transfer again under the guise that the con artist would refund the landlord three times the money. Usually, by the time the landlord realises. It’s too late since the con artists have already taken their cut and left.
Whenever a renter is scammed
When a possible renter is conned, the con artists get in touch with the other party. Frequently assuming the identity of a real estate agency or a landlord with experience in the military. The caller offers few information about the home and an eerily cheap monthly rental. They demand a visitation fee to allow the prospective renter to see the rental apartment in person but won’t provide any pictures or videos of it. Typically, the visiting fee is calculated after learning more about the person’s work.
This fee is first shown as a refundable sum. The con artists typically offer information on the rental property using a messaging platform after the potential renter has paid the fee. The victim is dissuaded from going on the property. They advise completing all the details over the phone and making the payment online in a way that inspires confidence. However, if the victim refuses to proceed and asks a refund. The con artists demand an additional charge to create an invoice and start the refund process. The con artists demand an additional sum for house improvement. Which will subsequently be included in the rent for the subsequent months. If the victim decides to proceed with the property based only on the images.
A few current instances of rental fraud
Here are two recent incidents where the victims suffered significant financial losses in order to notify and alert landlords and tenants:
- Under the guise of flat visiting fees, a renter who expressed interest in a residential property in Sector-62. Noida, lost a total of almost Rs 35,000.
- A fraudster pretending to be an Army member who was interested in her Andheri East apartment cost a landlord more than Rs 3.5 lakh. Due to their inability to complete online banking transactions. The con artists forced the victim to send money while promising to double the amount in return.
Rental Scams: Identifying a rental fraud check list
The following are some hard-to-ignore common linkages that are typically present in rental scams. Even if it might be challenging to identify the telltale signs of a dialogue that could be a prospective rental fraud.
- The landlord avoids inspecting the property physically. Or a con artist acting as a renter declines to see the property before signing the lease.
- The con artists aim to complete the process quickly, preventing the opposite party from pausing to consider their options. They exhibit intense interest in the transaction and make vocal assertions.
- They don’t seem to care about paperwork. From the start, there is a drive toward relying on internet transactions that is almost obsessive.
- The fraudster seems to be interested in paying the agreed-upon deposit sum while defrauding the landlord. However, if they choose to forego payment or request that you click on a few sites. That might be a warning sign.
- An abnormally low monthly rental is a warning indication for tenant abusers. A quote of about Rs 12,000 for a property with a comparable design in a location where the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom unit is roughly Rs 25,000 may be a trap.
Rental Scams : How can you guard against rental scams?
It’s common to assume that we have been wise and have avoided falling victim to a similar scam while reading about rental scams in the news. But it’s important to realise that even the smartest people may become con artists since fraudsters frequently advance in their skills. Thus, when conducting a rental transaction, you must be cautious and keep certain things in mind.
- Meet the person you are speaking to in person whenever possible. Before making a choice, go see the house in person and meet the owner.
- If you have not seen the owner and the lease paperwork have not yet been completed or are not yet in progress. Do not click any links or send any money.
- Carefully review the rental agreement and all other property documentation. You might even hire a lawyer to review them.
- Spend time researching the rental market to learn the going rate in the region. Attempt to establish contact with any current or former renters of the property.
- Avoid making payments via UPI and wallet transactions. Before sending any money by bank transfer, double-check the owner’s information.
Rental scams may undoubtedly leave its victims in a terrible state of mind. But it is advised that they report the incident right away to the police and file a cybercrime complaint. While technology has greatly simplified life, its drawback is that some people may abuse it to their detriment. Therefore, it is advisable to remain vigilant and proceed with caution while conducting any rental-related transactions.
You’re looking for Buy Home In Navi Mumbai we have the Best Buy Properties In Navi Mumbai Like Ready to Move & Nearby possession: https://navimumbaihouses.com/property/search/buy/navi-mumbai-all/