Better Business Bureau is warning college students to be on the lookout for scammers on Craigslist and other online classifieds when searching for an on or off-campus apartment to rent. Phony ads for rental properties are always popping up, and are specifically aimed at stealing money from unsuspecting students.
“Online classified ads have made finding campus rental properties much more convenient,” said Ran Hoth, sPresident and CEO of BBB Serving Wisconsin. “Unfortunately though, what is convenient for college students is often just as convenient for scammers, who have found a way to take advantage of unsuspecting, college renters.”
Students typically fall victim to this scam after responding to an online classified for a rental property. Scammers know that finding a great apartment either on or off-campus can be difficult, especially when there’s a time crunch. Be wary of any rental property that offers a great place for a cheap price, as it could lead to a scam. Make sure to do a comparison of similar properties in the area to know if it’s legitimate.
BBB recommends students ask their friends if they know of any apartments opening up in the area first. It’s also important for students to do their research before signing a lease or handing over a deposit. Online classifieds are a great way to find a rental, but students should visit the apartment in person and carefully review any paperwork provided.
BBB advises college students searching for rentals to look out for these red flags:
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/wisconsin.