The internet is a great resource when it comes to finding your new home. However, there are also a number of Philippines rental scams out there. Unscrupulous individuals are looking to take advantage of unsuspecting people searching for a new home. Renters are particularly vulnerable since many aren’t even aware of the scams being used. If you’re in the market for a new place to rent, keep an eye for the following and take steps to avoid them.
Philippines rental scams
Fake credit check
One of the most common scams involves a person posing as a landlord requiring you to submit a credit check. They will then either send you a form to fill out asking for personal information or simply ask you to send it in an email. This information usually includes credit card numbers and personal ID numbers that are then sold off or used.
This is an extremely popular tactic on websites that do not require any type of personal verification since the scammers want to avoid being detected. Using property portals is the best way to avoid this scam since sellers have to provide contact details before posting a listing.
Asking for a deposit
Another common online scam involves a landlord asking for the initial deposit before letting someone see the place. They will also request to be paid via Bitcoin or another form of online payment. Overseas renters who plan on moving to a new country are particularly vulnerable to this scam. Remember, never pay a deposit until you have seen the place in person.
Some agents take property listings already online; copy and paste the information and photos; and then claim it is their own. This scam is more annoying than nefarious as it is usually done by real estate agents usually working a bait-and-switch angle. You will inquire about the property only for them to tell you it has already been rented out. They will then try to show you other properties they represent.
What to do?
It’s easy to fall for these Philippines rental scams. You can avoid them by being vigilant. Here are some tips that can help you avoid these scams:
- Too good to be true – If the property being offered is unbelievably enticing and cheap, chances are it’s not real.
- Do not send money – This is a big no-no. See the property first and meet the landlord before agreeing to pay any deposit.
- Meet first – Do not provide a landlord with any personal information such as an ID number until after you have met with them.
- Photo watermark – If someone has posted a photo of the property, see if it has a watermark. This watermark should match the name/company of the person you are speaking with.
- Find a good resource – Don’t believe everything you see online. Find good resources with lots of rental listings like Dot Property Philippines.