How the scam works:
After searching for a property to rent, you find one and are asked to sign a contract and put down a deposit.
Somewhere at the end of the contract, in very small print, the scammers add: “The deposit will not be returned if the references are not satisfactory” (or that it will be returned, minus a certain fee). If you don't read the contract with extreme caution, don't be surprised if after a few days you'll be required to leave the house, without getting your deposit back.
Scammers will come up with fake stories to back up the request for you to vacate the premises. (e.g. they found out less than favorable information about you). They might be doing this to several victims per month, making thousands of dollars.
How to avoid the References For Your Landlord scam:
Always ask the landlord to check your references before signing the contract and then to remove the fine print. If they are unwilling to do this, rent elsewhere.
How to report the References For Your Landlord scam:
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How to protect yourself more:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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