Tags: Known Rental Scammers
Name: Kseniya Lushnikova
My name is Kseniya Lushnikova,i am an undergraduate student who just
got an admission in your locality, I saw your ad on the internet and i
am interested in your room,so let me know if it is still available so
that i can tell my Uncle to make payment for it so that i can move in
as soon as the money is been confirmed.
To tell you a few about myself,i am a young lady of 21,based in St.
Petersburg Russia,very ambitious,i have always wanted to school
outside Russia to change my environment and make new friends.
Please get back to me as soon as possible so as to enable me put my
interest in your apartment.Here is also my number you can call me
Hope to read from you soon.
Tags: rental scam tips
There are commonalities with all rental scam emails. Below are some tips when dissecting a rental scam email.
- Does the email start out with Sir / Madam?
- Are there misspellings in the email?
- Are there character mistakes in the email? i.e Hello,my nameis Susie.
- Is there excessive capitalization?
- Does the email reference God, UK, Cashiers Check, Doctor, Nigeria, Reverend, etc.
- Is the email from a free email provider. i.e gmail, yahoo, aol, hotmail.
- Does the email refer to another person or agent?
- Does the email reference wanting to move in site unseen?
If the email has a majority of these commonalities, then the chances are very good it is a scammer. If you are unsure, it is best to not reply to the email.
Originally from the rentBits.com blog.
In 2007, total internet fraud was around $240 million in the US.
Over the last year or so, the rental industry has seen a dramatic rise in rental scams and rental scam complaints.
At Rent Marketer and Apartment Marketer, we do everything in our power to ensure rental scams don’t get sent to our clients or renters. It is virtually impossible to stop every single scam email from getting through our system, but for those that do, we hope through education we will be able to hit the scammers where it hurts the most, through economics.
If we can eliminate the economic incentives for scammers, we can eliminate their behavior completely. If we can educate renters, property managers, owners, and agents on the various rental scams, over time, scammers will no longer have an economic incentive to scam.
Both Rent Marketer and Apartment Marketer use a variety of tools to help educate consumers and decrease the chances of a scammer contacting a client or renter.
Here is what we do:
- Every Phone Number is Masked with a free Toll Free number
- One thing you don’t want is to have your cell phone or house number out there for all to see. It is very easy to to do a reverse phone lookup and find your name, address, and any other information these scammers can use against you.
- Known Scammer emails and Phone Numbers are Filtered
- Being proactive, (stopping scam emails from reaching our clients) and Reactive (Immediately stopping scammer email and phone numbers from reaching any further clients)
- Using other proprietary filtering technology
- Educational Tools
- Screening Ads
- Some scammers try to post ads and do a “Property Owner Scam“
- We Screen ads using a variety of techniques
There is more we as an industry can do to help in the destruction of the rental scammer business model. By working together, we can do much more than working alone.
Some thoughts on how we can work together (I will write more about this in another post). Some suggestions may not work but this is meant to start a conversation:
- Central Rental Scammer Database
- All rental and classifieds sites could connect to it in real time to post or receive data on known rental scammers.
- Help from ISPs and Email providers like Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, etc
- Most free email providers are automatically reading the content of the email in order to serve relevant ads. Gmail for example does this and notifies users of known phishing emails. Why couldn’t Google do this with renter scammers? Most scam emails have very similar content.
- Government Agency Help
- Combined Rental and Classified Help
- What about a cookie being placed on known scammer browsers? If that scammer tries to go to another participating rental or classified site they are flagged.
What you some of your ideas?
Our rental search engine, rentbits.com, has been growing each month since launch. We recently wrote about the top cities in which Google Analytics tracks the cities and traffic for rentbits. It can be found here.
rentBits currently crawls over 500,000 active rental listings each day and we wanted to make this available for the top cities in the US.
Houses for rent in Austin
Houses for rent in Boston