Public Safety

Housing Rental Scams

Rental scammers often target student renters. The information below explains common clues that a rental listing might be a scam, and provides steps to take if the listing is found to be a scam.

Signs of a rental scam, and tips to avoid them:

  • Request to meet the person who posted a rental listing in person, or if you cannot meet in person, via video. A real landlord should want to meet you in person to make sure you are legitimate as well.
  • Do not give your personal information or Social Security number to a property owner without first verifying their identity.
  • Request a walk-through of the property, or if you cannot travel to the property, request a real-time video walk-through of the rental. Do not sign a lease before seeing the property via one of these two methods. An additional red flag is if the owner or manager charges you a fee to see the property.
  • If the property manager requests rent before you sign the lease, it is likely a scam.
  • Never mail or wire money to the person, especially if you have not signed a lease. Another red flag is if the property manager asks you to wire money to another person.
  • If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is. Check the going market rate in the area you are looking in to determine what the price should be.
  • Scams may often include the property manager pressuring you with sales tactics, such as encouraging you to rent quickly before someone else rents the property.
  • Scams may also include communication with typos, poor grammar, excessive punctuation, or is incomplete.

If you are a victim of a rental scam:

  • Contact the police. If you are not sure what agency to contact, start with UC Police. UCPD can be reached at 513-556-1111 and is located at 51 W. Corry Blvd. in Edwards Three. Our officers can assist you with:
    • Taking a report or contacting the appropriate agency to take a report,
    • Provide you with contact information for the UCPD’s Victim Services Coordinator,
    • And help you utilize other university assistance.
  • Contact the listing website, social media group administrators or other appropriate person where you found the rental to let them know to take it down.

Additional Resources: