Renting an apartment. How to NOT get scammed.

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5 Things that should alarm you that the offer of flat you found may actually be SCAM.

Low price.

Be aware that you may not be that lucky as you think.

I know, we want to believe that we’re so lucky to find it. So smart. We just found a perfect place that costs -40%, -50% than average market value. Wait. Just think for a minute: why someone rents something so below its market value..? Maybe because is not real?

Due to corona-crisis, you may find in fact a bit cheaper offers. Stay focused, A BIT cheaper offers.

Ghost profiles.

The room has been posted by someone who has sheep on the profile picture? No friends? Is just a member of 100 Erasmus groups (Erasmus in Vienna 2020-2021, Erasmus in Madrid 2020-2021, Erasmus Athens 2020-2021..etc). Big Red Flag. Especially if all those listed things are combined.

In fact, there are people who don’t want to post pictures of their face on FB and that’s fine or the sheep is their beloved pet… Just make sure it’s that case!

There are no pictures of flat/room posted on Fb groups.

Which owner makes secret how their apartment look like? Maybe some celebrities.. Oh, wait 😉

Red flag on posts like that. Just think, we’re living in the era of images. Why someone doesn’t want to post pictures publically? Maybe because flat may not exist and pictures you’re getting via DM are not real?

Deposit payments only via Western Union.

This should warn you as well. Poland is a fully developed country, everyone has bank accounts. EVERYONE. If someone asks you to send money via Western Union, be careful – it’s highly possible that it’s a scam. Why WU? It’s simple, it’s non- tracible cash flow.

Big NO to visiting.

“No visiting” policy should alarm you that maybe something is wrong. Not necessarily it’s a scam, but maybe flat doesn’t look like on the pictures?

Ask about the possibility of visiting the flat/room by a friend of yours. It can be an imaginary friend. What matters is their reaction. Scammers are usually “on holidays”, “just leaving for vacation” and do not allow anyone to visit it. Owners can be on holidays too, but they will specify when will be back and a possibility of vising after (f.ex I’m on holiday till end of the week, but next Monday we can schedule it!).

Still insecure?

Don’t give up! Poland is beautiful and most people will be happy to help you, very few to cheat on you!

Few things you can do :

  • Ask someone (friend, a mentor from your uni) on the spot to check the flat for you.
  • Ask your parents about their opinion. It’s not lame. They have way more experience than you have now, trust their instincts.
  • Ask about the virtual tour and insist to have it (if the flat is rented ask owner to give you the tenants contact)

If you still feel insecure, go to some agency. Of course, you need to pay an agency fee, but sometimes it’s just worth the stress you’re avoiding.

Check more articles about accommodation : Here