How to prevent getting scammed when moving to another country?

When moving to another country, one of the most important things you need to sort out before you arrive is your accommodation. Whether you’re planning on staying in the country for a year or ten years, it is essential that you find a place where you feel comfortable. While on your search for the perfect room, rental scammers will be found and will most likely ruin your day.

What is a rental scam exactly? Rental scammers are people who wish to mislead you with incorrect information about a room.  There are various ways of how a rental fraud can occur. The apartment might be fictitious, and the person who is pretending to be a landlord could be an impostor. Most of the times, the scammer tries to get money out of the other person. Luckily, the chances of getting scammed can quickly be reduced with the following tips!

A Rental Scam

In most cases, people prefer to find rooms before they move to the country. This method reduces the money that might be spent on hotels and hostels while they are looking for their perfect place.  One of the downsides of moving abroad and finding accommodation in advance is not being able to do a viewing. Various websites help you find fantastic accommodation, however, be cautious as this does have a higher risk of scammers.

  1. Basic research

Something that is always very important is to do some basic research before you decide to contact the landlord. Checking the address, the landlords’ name and the company online which will give you an idea of the reliability. This is super easy, and it will not take you long!

  1. Too good to be true

If you are being offered a great deal, where for example there is a room on a canal in the city center, but the price is extremely affordable, then the chance that you’re dealing with a scammer is high. So if the offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Make sure that if you feel uncomfortable or if it does not seem right, do not ignore this feeling and be extra cautious.

  1. Apartment ads

You will often come across an advertisement on Facebook, Marktplaats.nl and other websites where advertisements are not always reliable. These kinds of platforms get most of their revenue out of advertisements, which means that they are not as critical when selecting them. This means that you have to watch your back and do more research.

  1. Pressure

Do not let anyone pressure you into making a booking. If you have the feeling that the landlord is trying to push you to make the payment within an unreasonable scale of time, then make sure to think twice. Demand enough time to do some research on the situation, the apartment, and the contract.

  1. Payment

Payment is the most important thing you need to pay attention too. Once you’ve found your dream room and you’re happy to move forward, try and pay via bank transfer. Most people make the mistake of paying through cash, and this is risky as there is no confirmation or evidence of the transaction. If you use bank transfer, however, you will be able to have a bank statement showing where the money went, the amount and more. This will keep you safe in case the landlord claims you did not pay them and you can use this to show the authorities if you feel that you’re unfairly treated. Housinganywhere.com has a safe platform where the money does not get transferred into the landlords account until you have personally approved of the room. This method keeps you and the landlord safe.

With all these tips, you should be able to find an accommodation without any trouble. Do not let the fact that scammers exist influence your fantastic decision to go abroad!

Author: Fabienne Smits

‘Currently, I am studying Marketing and Sales in Rotterdam. Born and partly raised in Rotterdam is probably the reason why I have developed a passion for this amazing city. There are still a few years of studying left for me which is something that I am looking forward to! Because I was raised with both Dutch and German family, different cultures have always been of great interest to me. Travelling is one of my favorite things to do so I feel like HousingAnywhere certainly meets my interests! In my spare time, I am passionate about reading, watching series and meeting up with my friends!’

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