Avoid Scams and Fraud – ApartmentHomeLiving.com
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Avoid Scams and Fraud

Overview

While the vast majority of apartment listings on Apartments.com are legitimate, you should be aware that certain individuals may post apartment listings on Apartments.com (our "Site") for the sole purpose of scamming potential renters.

In the same manner, the vast majority of e-mail and phone leads sent to apartment communities using our Site are from real, interested renters. However, you should be aware that certain individuals may contact a property manager or express an interest in leasing an apartment for the sole purpose of scamming the landlord or property manager.

When using the Internet, you should always exercise caution and common sense. When using the Site, you can help protect yourself by learning more about how the Apartments.com service operates and taking the precautions outlined below. If an activity seems suspicious or a transaction seems unbelievably good, you should beware.

Deceptive Phone Calls

Apartments.com has received reports of a telephone phishing scam where the scammer is able to display a number on caller ID to have come from Apartments.com when in fact it has not. In the scam, customers are asked for their credit card information. The scammer may falsely claim, for example, that there has been a billing problem and their credit card number is needed.

Unless you pay Apartments.com under a separate Internet Advertising Agreement, we will NEVER call you regarding payment information. You should never give credit card or payment information over the phone when you receive a call. However, you should feel secure in contacting us directly to resolve any billing matters.

If you suspect a phishing attempt, you should hang up and call Apartments.com toll free at 888-658-RENT to verify the call. If you accidentally provided a credit card number to the caller please call your credit card company immediately. You may also wish to call your local law enforcement and file a complaint with the FCC at: https://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm.

Deceptive E-Mails & Claims

Apartments.com merely acts as forum in which potential renters can search listings of apartments for rent and contact landlords to discuss the specifics of the apartment, arrange for a showing, and/or possibly enter into an agreement to lease the apartment. All transactions are between renters and landlords. Be aware that Apartments.com never participates in transactions between renters and landlords. Specifically, we do not lease apartments or collect payments or deposits for apartments. Finally, given the nature of our service, which permits users and advertisers to submit listings, you should be aware that we do not and cannot verify the authenticity or legitimacy of 100% of the listings that appear on our Site. We implement numerous verification checks and filters and make an effort to ensure the accuracy of our Site, but the Site is provided "as is."

Consumer Alert – Fraudulent Apartments.com Emails

Apartments.com has also received reports of emails appearing to be sent by us stating that we have a "purchase protection" or "escrow" service to facilitate leasing transactions. These emails are fraudulent! Sending any money in response to these emails will almost always result in your losing all of it. The best thing to do if you receive one of these emails is to delete it and not reply to the sender. Under no circumstances should you ever wire money without meeting the landlord in person and physically inspecting the apartment and lease documentation. Apartments.com does not have any sort of escrow or payment protection program nor do we participate in the transaction in any way. Apartments.com never processes rents, deposits, or lease transactions directly. All transactions are between you and the landlord. Any email or individual stating otherwise is attempting to scam you. You may encounter one of these fraudulent emails after responding to an ad on any online rental listing services. Typically, the apartments are advertised at significantly below market values in order to garner interest. Remember, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Advice for Renters

Advice for Landlords and Property Managers

To report suspicious activity:

Below are some items to watch for in recognizing scams:

See below for an example email. Note that the actual appearance of the email may change, but the fact remains: Apartments.com does NOT participate in collecting rent payments or deposits, nor do we guarantee any transaction.

For more information, see our fraud alert.

If you have any questions, please contact Apartments.com. To report the fraudulent email, please file a report at the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

©2015 Apartments, LLC, 1331 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005.

Last updated: February 12, 2015

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