Due to Historically High Rents, Local Scammers Are Looking to Take Advantage of Apartment Seekers.
Local apartment seekers are sounding the alarm on social media about scammers who are attempting to intervene between their search and legitimate landlords to score quick cash.
Posing as apartment owners looking to rent their space, the scammers collect an application fee between $50 - $100 before disclosing the address of the apartment. This is done under the guise of owners safety and renter due diligence due to the high number of applications and the rising number of private "granny flat" ADUs on the market.
When the address associated with the pictures in the advertisement is disclosed, the scam ends and the would be renter is left in the dark. One such victim found the legitimate owner of the property, called them, and discovered it was not for rent at all.
With the number of applications flying around the rental market at the moment, staying out of every scam is a tall order.
Advice for Renters
While it may seem cumbersome, do not send money to anyone until they have clearly disclosed the address of the property to be rented. It may seem as though this is putting you at a disadvantage, but any high pressure to send money ahead of an address is an immediate red flag.
The second piece of advice to consider is that if the apartment seems too good to be true, it probably is. The average one-bedroom apartment in San Diego is currently renting for more than $2,000 per month.
Be leery of anything substantially below market rent.