When you’re using technology to rent out a property, it’s important to protect yourself and your information. There are several things to consider when you’re dealing with online scams and property management in Portland, OR. Many property owners and tenants have reported various scams and schemes designed to take advantage of all parties.
Sending Money Out of State
One of the first things you want to avoid is sending anyone money. Out of state people might promise to send you the keys once your check arrives, but you’ll never see those keys. Legitimate landlords and reputable companies will never ask you to do this. Instead, you should offer to meet the owner at the residence, at which point you can talk about rent and deposits and applications. You want to confirm that the property is actually for rent and the advertisement to which you are responding is genuine. You should expect to get a tour of the property and have the opportunity to ask questions.
When you fill out an application to rent a property, you’ll be asked to provide a lot of personal information. However, if you’re asked for things such as your social security number or financial information outside of a standard application, you should be suspicious. If the information they are asking for seems strange or their questions don’t make sense, be cautious in what you provide.
Theft of Ads
A popular scam is for a dishonest person to steal pictures and property descriptions from legitimate ads and then collect money from prospective tenants on those ads. Communicate with the property manager or the property owner before you provide any answers or personal information. Look for photos that are branded or watermarked with a company logo so you know they haven’t been stolen.
As a property owner, you can avoid falling victim to these scams by putting watermarks on all of the pictures you use in your ads. Pay close attention to the responses you get and look at the activity surrounding your property. Tenants should never send money to a party they have not yet met.
Contact Jim McNeeley Real Estate and Property Management if you need help avoiding these scams or you want to make sure you aren’t in danger of being victimized.