To ensure your online rental search is a positive experience, be sure to follow a few basic
Avoid unusual forms of payment. Never wire funds via Western Union, Moneygram,
or any other wire service. Wiring money is the same as sending cash - once you
send it, you have no way to get it back.
Don't send money to someone you've never met in person for an apartment
you haven't seen. If you can't visit an apartment or house yourself, ask
someone you trust to go and confirm that it's for rent. In addition to setting
up a meeting, do a search on the landlord and listing. If you find the same ad
listed under a different name, that's a clue it may be a scam.
Never provide your financial information (bank account number, social security number,
credit card number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.).
Call the property manager / landlord owner and ask questions regarding the property
such as how long they have owned it, recent maintenance, and request references from
previous tenants. You should request a rental agreement or a printed list for your
obligations as a renter and review carefully.