The reliance on digital platforms has given rise to con artists looking to scam unsuspecting victims out of money online. One area where scammers have found success is with those on the hunt for a property rental. But, renters are not the only victims of these scams. As a Dover property owner, it’s essential to safeguard your property against rental scams to avoid misrepresenting your property online.
How to Spot A Scam
Rental scammers use several different methods to accomplish their schemes. A scammer will often copy information about a legitimate house or apartment for rent from Facebook, Craigslist, Trulia, or another popular online directory and create a new listing for the home with the rental amount significantly lower. When a prospective tenant contacts the scammer, they claim to be out-of-town and unable to show the property or meet in person. They often appear desperate to rent the place and use any excuse to explain the low rent.
Next, the scammer asks the prospective tenant to fill out an application. After “approving” the application, the tenant is asked to pay the damage deposit and first month’s rent. The “owner” promises to send the keys upon receipt of the money. As you might have guessed, the imposter cashes the check and never delivers the keys.
How A Property Management Company Protects Your Property
The best way to protect your property from online scammers is to hire a property manager. Property management companies generally have access to more resources and knowledge on the subject. Scammers look for easy targets, and a good property manager will already have tried-and-tested processes in place to discourage them from using their properties as a means to scam someone. For example, Real Property Management Seacoast New Hampshire uses the following methods to ensure that their clients’ properties are protected:
- Watermarking Photos. Watermarking property photos prevents scammers from posting the photo and falsely promoting the property as their own. Branded signage at the physical property, which sometimes will appear in our photographs, also reassures prospective renters that the property is leased and managed by a reputable company.
- Scanning Online Listings. We run periodic scans of our property listings online, hindering impostors from illegally renting out properties. You can also set up a “Google Alert” to receive notifications when your property address is posted online.
• Online Brand Presence. Linking online rental listings directly to Real Property Management Seacoast New Hampshire’s website helps put potential renters at ease and verifies a property’s authenticity. Scam artists typically don’t take the time to make professional webpages or create fake property management businesses online.
Safeguarding your Dover rental property against rental listing scams benefits your reputation, property, tenants, and community. Knowing how to spot a fraud immediately and reporting it is vital for everyone to do, whether you’re a property owner or not. With a property management company like RPM Seacoast New Hampshire, you have the added protection of a team of professionals that have your back in any situation. Contact us online or give us a call at 603-343-2202 if you’re looking for a great property manager in Dover.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.