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Three More Ways To Avoid Scams

Updated on February 3, 2014
Even your home could be in jeopardy if your info falls into the wrong hands.
Even your home could be in jeopardy if your info falls into the wrong hands. | Source

Think twice before providing information that's not absolutely needed for your transaction.

Whether you're shopping online or off, don't provide more info than what's needed plain and simple. Many people know that their info is collected and sold but there are some cases where the person taking your information creates a copy for their own personal and illegal use. Unfortunately, there are some cases where crooked companies simply look the other way as long as that employee is meeting their job requirements otherwise.

There are some cashiers, waitresses, salespeople, valets (via access to documents in your vehicle) and waiters who will go on shopping sprees on the customers' dime. Be alert and don't let this happen to you. If it does happen, there will be little chance of getting your money back. If they damage your credit, repairing the damage could take months or even years.

Avoid all unsolicited offers and offers that you have absolutely no need or interest in, particularly if they are going to perform automatic billing. NEVER give them your consent or info in any way shape or form. A fairly large number of people find too late that they have no money left to pay their bills because everything and more was taken due to a trial or offer they accepted.

If you didn't call them and they called you, beware. If you made a call and reached a different company (or one who doesn't immediately identify their company by it's name) beware. If they send you or your child unsolicited text or email messages, beware. If their company name is not the EXACT same as a company that you have previous positive experience with, beware. This is critical as some companies intentionally use names that are similar to names of well known brands and companies to trick people into buying things from them. Many offers tied to trials such as shopping clubs, supplements, and magazines are simply overpriced and the methods they use to get you to agree often are nothing but a scam. Some of these same companies also use high pressure and even illegal collection tactics if you stop paying when you realize it was a scam. Also, it is not uncommon for customers to be pushed into a sale or not have all of the terms fully explained to them even when they specifically ask.

For instance, when you ask a question (even a simple yes or no type), they might lead your attention off on a tangent without actually answering your question. Don't be fooled, this is intentionally done to steer you away from saying no. Maybe you refuse anyway and they push nonstop to make you agree. When they say they don't need your credit card info, watch out. They've already got it! If they ask for it, that doesn't always mean that they don't have it, perhaps they want you to confirm that everything is correct and it's possible that by confirming this or other info, in their minds, you agreed to be charged.They are slippery little suckers, aren't they?

With some of the magazine crooks, you are darned if you do and darned if you don't. Most of the companies that contact customers to push magazines have gotten your name from other companies that don't treat the customer as a priority. This should be important to you because if these are the types of companies they associate with, you don't want to be their customer especially if your Caller ID is not showing that company's exact name and working phone number.

Maintenance free townhouse for rent in a safe and beautiful community. Just bring $1,500 cash today, NO credit or employment check!
Maintenance free townhouse for rent in a safe and beautiful community. Just bring $1,500 cash today, NO credit or employment check! | Source

Check property records before renting or use an experienced and knowledgeable local agent to find a rental.

Home rental scams should send most renters scurrying to find an experienced and licensed professional to work with. However, there are some people who fall for fake rental ads online and in newspapers because the crooks continue to evolve with their trickery and potential renters refuse to do their due diligence. The advertisers/crooks often steal a photo and claim they've got a rental property available for rent. Most crooks use free ads but some run this scam to such a profit they actually pay fees to post their ads on certain sites, increasing the perceived credibility of the ad and possibly gaining access to larger numbers of potential victims.

Many will not want to meet you face to face and have a long list of excuses not to. Still, they'll want you to pay a deposit or 1st month's rent often without even seeing the property. Some will ask that you wire them money, (but not all). Paying upfront sight unseen is just one huge red flag to most people but the crooks still offer more tricks to separate renters from their cash. In some cases the prospective renters actually do view the property inside and out with the crook or a helper. Some crooks can mislead home owners and it's possible for the crook to be a house sitter, family friend, or increasingly, it may be a home that has been abandoned or foreclosed on that they access illegally.

With great risk, the locks on an unoccupied home will be changed just so they can access it at will and take a grand or two from an unsuspecting renter or several if they can. If you choose to rent from online ads from sites other than 100% legitimate real estate agencies, get the property owner's information and check local property records. Make sure their ID matches up when you meet in person.

If you're supposed to be renting from the owner, they or their licensed real estate agent must be present, no excuses. If the person you meet has a long story about why the true owner can't be present, walk away. Once you hand over your money, you'll probably not get it back. Also, you will be evicted by the true owners if you ever actually move in and will be back at square one with less or no money to rent your next place.

For those who don't have the time or inclination to perform due diligence, check the local rental listings through sites such as or Craigslist and other sites are fine for those who are alert and vigilant, but they should not be blamed when those who are not vigilant get burned.

© 2012 Express10

A House Rental Scam Warning


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    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      You are well informed. Part of the problem is that some people are trusting and others think it's simply disrespectful to assert themselves. Many are uninformed and crooks are always changing their approaches. One must remember that they are being respectful and responsible with their money and information when they make the effort to avoid scams.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      To Express10: This hub ought to be required reading. Please get this information out anyway that you can. People NEED to read this. I find it surprising how so many people reveal personal and confidential information on their computers to various companies. Should they be wary of this?

      I am extremely wary of divulging confidential information to complete strangers. I only reveal pertinent information when shopping via internet. I also check send no related catalogs. One must be ever so savvy regarding interaction via the internet and with total strangers. If you do not know the person, keep contact to the absolute minimum when conducting business.

      Regarding the issue of housing, many people fall hook, line, and sinker to predatory lending. These "lenders" assuage prospective buyers into believing that all they do to have the home of their dreams is to pay next to nothing at the specific period. What these unsuspecting people do not know, that there are hidden costs and those hidden costs often result in home foreclosures. People must be savvy and careful today as there are so many scams out there; also, if you conduct legitimate business over the internet, only do shopping and ordering, it is NOT best to conduct major business transactions over the internet such as banking business. I know I would not as there are hackers and other crooks who could gain easy assess to personal information at a perilous price.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks Tirelesstraveler, if the crooks were as imaginative, creative, and hardworking at positive and productive things, modern life would be easier and cheaper.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      While purchasing a house my real estate agent was telling me about people selling houses they don't own. These slimes created a pile of extra paper work for honest folks.

      Excellent job. Going to share it.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 6 years ago from East Coast

      The crooks behind the fake job offers are some of the lowest of the low, scamming people who are seeking an income or additional income.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for great tips to avoid getting scammed. I have even seen fake job offers on line just trying to get your info!