Whether you're getting out of the school dorms for the first time, or you're moving to a new place, living off-campus is an exciting time. However, scammers are always waiting to prey on unsuspecting students looking for housing. Here are some things to look out for when finding a place to live:
Talk to your Peers: Friends and peers that are older than you may have more experience renting in the area. They can be a very useful resource when it comes to finding the right apartments with reliable landlords. You can ask them for apartment recommendations or, if they already have a house lined up, if they have an empty room to rent out.
Meet in Person: Before you sign, pay, or agree to anything, make sure to talk in person and visit the unit. Bring a friend or a parent - they can help ask the right questions and spot problems that you might overlook.
Avoid Untraceable Payments: Cash, wire transfers, or money orders are almost always a sign of a scam. Stick to checks when paying your landlord and never pay before seeing the rental.
Look out for these red flags when looking for your new place to live! If you encounter a scammer, make sure to report it to the local authorities.