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Niles Garden of Downtown Living Inc. Shares Insight Into Catfishing Rental Scams Lurking on Social Media

Niles Garden

SARASOTA, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, January 19, 2024 / -- Niles Garden says that finding one’s dream apartment can be exciting, but the journey online can be littered with pitfalls, especially on social media. Sadly, the ease of sharing information on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Craigslist has also attracted a new breed of con artists: rental scammers. These digital predators prey on eager house hunters, looking to steal renters’ hard-earned cash and leave them homeless and heartbroken.

But fear not, Downtown Living Inc. says that by being armed with the right knowledge, anyone can spot these scams from a mile away and keep their housing search safe and sound. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

If it’s too good to be true, It probably is.
For those who stumble upon a luxurious penthouse for a bargain-basement price, alarm bells should be clanging. Scammers often lure victims with unrealistic deals, so suspiciously cheap rent in a prime location is a major warning sign.

The landlord is never available.
When the "landlord" is always "out of town" or "unavailable to show the apartment," watch out. This is a classic scam tactic. A legitimate landlord should be happy to meet the prospect and show the property before they commit.

They pressure renters to pay ASAP.
Scammers will try to create a sense of urgency, pushing renters to send money quickly before someone else grabs "this amazing deal." Don't let them rush things. Take the time to do thorough due diligence.

Wire transfers and gift cards are their best friends.
Legitimate landlords will rarely, if ever, ask for payment through wire transfers or gift cards. These methods are nearly impossible to trace and are a scammer's preferred escape route. Stick to secure channels like online payment platforms or personal checks with proper identification.

The online footprint doesn't add up.
Do a quick online search of the landlord's name and the property address. If nothing comes up or the information seems inconsistent, it's likely a fake listing. Check for red flags on public rental scam databases as well.

Trust the gut.
If something feels fishy, it probably is. Don't be afraid to walk away from any deal that raises suspicions. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Niles Garden and the experts at Downtown Living Inc. explain that when it comes to online rental searches, knowledge is the best weapon against scammers, so whenever possible, be sure to meet the landlord in person before sending any money, get everything in writing, including a signed lease agreement, never share personal information, like Social Security numbers or bank account details, with anyone online and report any suspicious activity to the social media platform and the relevant authorities.

About Downtown Living Inc.
Niles Garden is the owner and broker of Downtown Living who has been managing his and his families' property for over ten years. Downtown Living offers a variety of professional services, including Marketing & Advertising, Tenant Screening & Placement, and Property Maintenance & Service. With no upfront, cancellation, or hidden fees, Downtown Living looks forward to getting a chance to prove its formula for 'Maximum Return' on an investment property and becoming a business partner. Downtown Living will exceed expectations.

Niles Garden
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