For many teens and 20-somethings, the beginning of college or a new job signals a fresh start. Unfortunately, while young adults move on to this next chapter, they can be prime targets for scams. Whether you are renting an apartment, applying for a scholarship, or taking a social media quiz, follow these tips to sharpen your street smarts and help stay safe by educating yourself on these common scams.
Scam #1: Rental scams
As a young adult, you tend to move frequently, whether to a college dorm or your first apartment. However, these moves may be accompanied by the possibility of a rental scam.
In one common scenario, scammers post fake rental properties on free sites. They may look like other rental posts, complete with real photos and descriptions. Once you express interest, you are pressured to make a deposit immediately, often via wire transfer. Once the money is sent, the scammer and your deposit disappear.
To help avoid rental scams:
- Avoid any listing that requires you to act immediately. If you cannot meet in person, see the apartment, or sign a lease before you pay, keep looking.
- Do not send a deposit via wire transfer, as wire transfer is an immediate form of payment. Once the scammer has obtained the funds, the wire transfer cannot be reversed.
- Be wary of poorly written correspondence or ads with misspellings, oddly written language, or unusual formatting.
Use the Better Business Bureau to research reputable property management companies.