Property Managers and Owners - Learn How to Avoid Rental Property Fraud and Scams

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Fraud and Scams

You can avoid scammers by following these simple, common-sense rules

  • Deal locally with people that you meet in person.
    Follow this rule and you will avoid 99% of scam attempts.

  • Never wire funds via Western Union, Moneygram or other wire service.
    Anyone who asks you to wire funds to them is a scammer.

  • Never provide your personal or banking information.
    If someone asks for your bank account number, social security number, or any other personal or on-line (usernames) information, they are very likely a scammer.

  • Be on guard for fake cashier cheques and money orders.
    Fake cashier cheques and money orders are common and banks will cash them and then hold you responsible when the fake is discovered weeks later.

  • Use common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Recognizing scams

Most scams involve one or more of the following:
  • An Inquiry from someone far away, often in another country
  • Western Union, Money Gram, cashier's cheque, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee"
  • Inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before completing a transaction

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

Example of a scam sent to a property manager

The following e-mail was received by a property manager. The potential "renter" sent a cheque for $7500.00 and asked that the property manager take the first month's rent and wire the rest of the money back to him. The cheque sent was invalid. Below is the e-mail message that was sent to the property manager:

Thanks for the quick response. I will be glad to inform you that my dad after much agreed to pay the requested amount ( PAYMENT FOR THE FIRST MONTH RENT AND ITS DEPOSIT STARTING FROM MY MOVING IN DATE ) and my staying will be for the lease period you require, which will also be paid on the first of every month. Also it might be of your interest to know that a check will be issued to you in an excess amount, in which the excess fund of after you might have deduct your original amount will be sent to me via western union transfer. The excess amount is meant for my travelling allowance, feeding and other expenses. kindly get back to me with the underlisted information so that the payment can be issued out Asap.


Also i will be moving into the apartment on the 1st week the rent fee start counting and i will be very honoured if you could furnish me with the required details so that we can proceed on payment. I was born on the 01/05/1983 and attended Woolwich College : Graduated in 2001 (GPA: 3.5) and thereafter proceeded to the University of Bristol ; A.A., Advertising, Pensacola, Bristol, 05/2001-05/2005, (GPA: 3.25) where i just finished a year ago. I just finished my 3 months professional course in Strategic Alliances from the Goldsmith University London where i am now. I live with my parents here in london for now. My home/parents address here is:

14 swetenham walk Woolwich London SE18 7EZ.

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