Avoiding Scams

At SeattleRentals.com, we try our best to monitor scam accounts and advertisements. However, not all scam and fraudulent advertisements get detected by our team.

The best way for you to avoid being a victim of fraudulent advertising are:
  1. Deal locally, face-to-face: following this one rule will avoid 99% of scam attempts.
  2. Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.
  3. Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union).
  4. Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a “guarantee.
  5. Never give out financial info that isn’t on a secure, known platform (bank account, social security, PayPal account, etc.).
  6. It is best not to rent sight-unseen – It is a good idea to have someone assist you in this search if you are not currently in the Seattle area. Either a friend or relative , whose opinion you trust, or a Real Estate professional that specializes in Residential Rentals, like our sister company Seattle Rental Group.
  7. Refuse background/credit checks until you have met landlord/employer in person.
If you suspect that a SeattleRentals.com ad may be connected to a scam, please send us the details. If you suspect you have been a victim of a fraudulent or scam account or ad, here are some helpful links you may need to resolve the issue:
If you are defrauded by someone you met in person, contact your local police department. Keep an eye out for these red flags:
  1. You’re asked to send money without having met anyone, seen the apartment, and/or signed a lease – It is not normal for a landlord or leasing professional to ask for deposit or holding fee before you have had a chance to view the property. If you are looking from out of state it is best to work with a leasing specialist or to have a friend or relative in the area assist you to make sure the property is as described.
  2. The landlord seems too eager to lease the apartment to you. – Most landlords want to know your credit score, and the may also want more information about you, including but not limited to criminal background check and employment verification. If a landlord does not seem interested in any form of tenant screening, or seems eager to negotiate the rental rate and other lease terms, it’s suspicious.
  3. You’re asked to pay an unusually high security deposit or too many upfront fees – In the Seattle area the general rule of thumb is the security deposit should be equal to the first’s month’s rent. Additional fees that you could pay are Application fees (between $25 – $60), Utilities fees ($50-$80 per person), Parking Fee ($100 - $200 and could be monthly or a flat rate), Pet rents and fees. If the landlord wants a higher security deposit than what’s required by law, or if there are multiple upfront fees, it could be a sign that the landlord wants to take your money.
  4. If you feel sales pressure from the landlord, it could be a red flag as well.