Rental Listing Scams - Make an informed decision



Before contacting any listing owner, we urge you to inform yourself about online fraud and rental listing scams. We've provided some information about rental scams below, and a link HERE where you can read more from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

How Do Listing Scams Work?
What are some of the telltale signs of a rental scam?
What steps does Listanza take to prevent rental listing scams?
What can I do if I think I fell victim to online fraud or spotted a suspicious listing?


How Do Listing Scams Work?
Rental scammers may use a variety of methods and tools to post fraudulent listings on internet sites. They may manually post listings by copying existing legitimate listings and re-post them with a lower [to good to be true] rental rate. Sometimes, they will use existing properties posted for sale and post them as a rental listing, instead.

Typically, after contacting a scammer, they will reply with a sense of urgency, stating that the rental rate is a great deal and that a lot of other people are also interested. Finnally, they will ask to send money through Western Union, Moneygram, or a Prepaid Visa card, to "secure the deal". It's your money they want. If this happens, we ask that you immediately stop all communication with that person and to contact Listanza Security at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If possible also include the listing URL. Listanza will investigate and remove the listing as soon as possible.

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What are some of the telltale signs of a rental scam?
We've listed a number of items below to help in spotting potential fraudulent listings. We advice never to send money without first securing a lease. Confirming also that the property manager has legal right to represent and rent the property. Vigilance in protecting your private information is important. Listanza is not a sales or rental real estate agency. As such we are not involvement in showings, agreements, or transactions.

Typically, the first sign is that the rental rate is significantly less --- below the market rate --- than other similar properties in the same area. If it looks too good to be true, then chances are it’s a scam.

You may get a reply stating the owner is away for an extended period (usually out of the country), and that they cannot be present to show you the property. They may also indicate a sense of urgency to get the property rented, to help justify the below market rental rate. We advise to always meet the agent, property manager, or landlord in-person and at the property. If they can't meet you there or show you the property, then it's possibly a scam. Try also to bring a friend or family member with you.

Scammers will usually ask to wire money via Western Union, Moneygram, or Prepaid Visa card, for a deposit or first month’s rent, without showing the property.

Reply emails may also include several grammatical errors and typos. The email may be difficult to read, lengthy, or include a hardship story.

Some scammers may require an application to be completed, also before showing the property. We advise not to submit an application with personal information until you've verified the legitimacy of the property owner, agent, or property manager, and the property.

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What steps does Listanza take to prevent rental listing scams?
Listanza understands how important it is to have legitimate listings and information. Our security group is dedicated to review (with actual human eyes -- a real person), investigate and track all listings posted by new "untrusted" user accounts. This multi-step process incorporates various tools, alerts, as well as confidential proprietary algorithms and filters. As with all things, nothing is perfect, but our security process does help us to catch most scams, sometimes within minutes of being posted.

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What can I do if I think I fell victim to online fraud or spotted a suspicious listing?
If you think you fell victim to online fraud, please contact your local authorities. Contact Listanza Security via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (please try to include the listing ID number or link) to have the listing removed immediately.

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