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7 of the worst scams people fall for when renting an apartment

Business Insider Logo By Dave Johnson of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 9: 
  
    Scams are
    a huge problem for apartment hunters, and online listings have
    only made the problem worse.  
  
  
    It's critical to avoid
    completing any leasing applications, credit checks, or sending
    money without first meeting the listing agent or landlord in
    person at the apartment you want to rent.
  
  
    We've rounded up the most
    common scams and ways to avoid them.
  
  
    
      Visit
    Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
    
  

  Not long ago while apartment
  hunting, writer Bridgette Nardo found what seemed almost too good
  to be true: a quaint, gorgeous home in the heart of a chic West
  LA neighborhood - and it was listed for a surprisingly low
  price.

  The online ad was detailed and
  packed with gorgeous photos. She responded immediately, and the
  listing agent asked for her to complete some forms and send a
  deposit to lock in her place at the head of the line.  

  But before she did, Nardo drove
  across town to see the location for herself, and discovered the
  bad news: It was not for rent at all. The house was for sale, and had, in fact,
  just closed - the happy new owners were, through sheer
  coincidence, on the premises scouting out how to arrange their
  furniture.

  The "listing agent" Nardo had
  been chatting with online was a fraud who had likely scraped the
  information off the legitimate listing. If she had wired any cash, it would have been
  gone without a trace.

  And that wasn't even the worst
  possible outcome. We spoke to experts and found out some of the
  worst apartment-hunting scams that
  are taking place right now. 

  Here are seven of the worst
  apartment scams, and some tips to make sure you're not on the
  wrong end of one during your apartment hunt.

  • Scams are a huge problem for apartment hunters, and online listings have only made the problem worse.
  • It's critical to avoid completing any leasing applications, credit checks, or sending money without first meeting the listing agent or landlord in person at the apartment you want to rent.
  • We've rounded up the most common scams and ways to avoid them.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Not long ago while apartment hunting, writer Bridgette Nardo found what seemed almost too good to be true: a quaint, gorgeous home in the heart of a chic West LA neighborhood - and it was listed for a surprisingly low price.

The online ad was detailed and packed with gorgeous photos. She responded immediately, and the listing agent asked for her to complete some forms and send a deposit to lock in her place at the head of the line.

But before she did, Nardo drove across town to see the location for herself, and discovered the bad news: It was not for rent at all. The house was for sale, and had, in fact, just closed - the happy new owners were, through sheer coincidence, on the premises scouting out how to arrange their furniture.

The "listing agent" Nardo had been chatting with online was a fraud who had likely scraped the information off the legitimate listing. If she had wired any cash, it would have been gone without a trace.

And that wasn't even the worst possible outcome. We spoke to experts and found out some of the worst apartment-hunting scams that are taking place right now.

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Here are seven of the worst apartment scams, and some tips to make sure you're not on the wrong end of one during your apartment hunt.

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