Here are a few potential scenarios for students to be cautious of:
- The Landlord states that they have another renter who is willing to give more money than originally requested, and to secure the property the student must wire transfer money immediately.
- A security deposit or first month’s rent is requested first, before the student can ‘view‘ the property.
- The landlord states an ‘agent/agency’ will show the property and deliver the keys. If the property is privately owned and not operated by a property management company, confirm that the agent represents a reputable leasing company first – do a simple Google search of the person’s name and/or phone number.
- The landlord is out-of-country and unable to show the property personally.
- The landlord asks a student to ‘wire’ money.
- The landlord requests that a lease be filled out prior to viewing the property.
Tip for Avoiding Scams
- Never give out personal financial information – Keep your personal financial information (checking account number, Social Insurance Number, Passport Number, credit card number, etc.) safe and secure.
- Be wary and practice good judgement – Don’t let your guard down when looking for an apartment. If something feels wrong with the situation, it may be wise not to pursue it.
- When in doubt, always personally view the property – Often individuals who are attempting to scam students request a deposit before the potential tenant has had a chance to preview the rental property. Never provide funds or sign a lease prior to viewing the property and meeting the landlord.
- Never wire transfer funds to anyone claiming to be a landlord
- Be cautious – If you receive photos or detailed information from a landlord without requesting it, be mindful that this is typical scammer behaviour.