Over the years, we’ve given customers lots of information on online scams and how to avoid them. With so many people moving around the country every month, we figured it was time for an update and some new tips. If you and your family are planning to relocate, this is definitely something you should check out. Here’s our list of ways you can detect and avoid costly online scams.
1. Long Distance Scammers
When the time comes for you to pack up and move, your search for all things moving related should yield results of people and companies in your immediate area. So, if you are looking for moving help in and around the New York area, and you find that you are getting contacted by a moving company that’s based in Los Angeles, something may be off. This is especially true if you do some research and find that a company is registered in a different country all together. Be smart and don’t let long distance scammers take advantage of you.
2. Background Check Fees
This is a common one that scammers love to use. While some condo associations do charge a fee to run a complete background check, someone from the office will contact you directly via a phone call usually. If you receive a third party link from an odd email address requesting you to pay a few hundred dollars to process a background check, don’t fall for it. Instead, contact the condo association, listing agent or owner of the home right away to investigate. This will save you time, money and embarrassment.
3. Too Good to be True
Every now and then, a deal seems too good to be true and it turns out to be legit. In part meg hunting and real estate, this is called hitting the jackpot. However, more times than not, if something seems far too good to be real, it’s probably a scam. For instance, the odds of scoring a 3-bedroom condo in the most expensive part of town for half the price of everything else in the area are incredibly low. Before you get excited and wire someone money, take a deep breath, do some research and make smart decisions.
4. Hefty Down Payments
Third party payment portals are always sketchy when it comes to apartment shopping. However, if you receive a link asking you to pay one month’s rent or more to secure an apartment you looked at, don’t fall for the scam. In a regular situation, you will sign paperwork and actually pass a background and credit check before scoring an apartment. If it doesn’t happen in this order, refrain from giving away your hard earned money. Scammers have a habit of learning what apartments people viewed and then reaching out to them claiming to need down payments to hold the apartment. This is one of the most popular and costly scams out there.
5. Moving Help Games
Hire a quality and reputable moving company. Nowadays there are tons of companies on Craigslist and Facebook platforms offering moving help. Don’t send anyone money ahead of time and then get stuck without real help on your moving day. Check with our list of the best moving companies, the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Transportation to ensure that the company you hire is legit. If not, you could lose a few thousand dollars.