Rental Fraud and Scam Prevention

Overview

In our latest webinar, we delved into the pressing issue of rental fraud and scam prevention, providing landlords with essential knowledge and tools to protect their investments. With the expertise of Krista, a security specialist from TurboTenant, we explored the various facets of rental fraud, the reasons behind its rise, and practical strategies to counter it.

Understanding the Rise of Rental Fraud

Rental fraud is more prevalent than ever, affecting over 40% of Americans either directly or through someone they know. The financial impact is staggering, with an estimated $16.1 billion expected to be lost to rental scams this year alone. Factors contributing to this increase include higher rent prices, stagnant wages, and technological advancements that make committing fraud easier.

Types of Rental Fraud

We focused on three main types of rental fraud:

  • Rental Application Fraud: The most common form, where applicants provide false information to qualify for rentals.
  • Money Wiring Scams: Fraudsters overpay with checks or wire transfers, then request refunds before the fraudulent payments bounce.
  • Illegal Sub-Leases: Tenants unlawfully sub-lease their rentals without landlord consent, posing various legal and financial risks.

Strategies for Landlords

To combat these scams, landlords should:

  • Conduct thorough screenings, including background and credit checks.
  • Never accept overpayments and be wary of unsolicited urgency in transactions.
  • Ensure lease agreements explicitly forbid sub-leasing without written consent.
  • Regularly inspect properties and maintain open communication with tenants.
  • Utilize reputable online platforms like TurboTenant for secure transactions and tenant screenings.

TurboTenant’s Role in Fraud Prevention

Christina highlighted TurboTenant’s commitment to security, employing both automated and manual reviews to vet listings. By partnering with industry leaders like Plaid and Stripe, TurboTenant ensures the safety and privacy of online transactions. Their Premium subscribers gain access to Income Insights, a tool that compares applicants’ self-reported income against TransUnion’s database for added verification.

Conclusion

Rental fraud poses a significant threat to landlords, but with vigilant screening, secure transaction practices, and leveraging technology like TurboTenant, landlords can significantly reduce their risk. Our webinar provided attendees with actionable insights and tools to protect their properties and tenants from the dangers of rental scams.

Source & Guest Links

Presenters

Krista Reuther
Krista Reuther
Senior Content Marketer

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