Beware off-campus rental scams

UC Santa Cruz has seen an increase in off-campus rental scams recently. We urge all students to be extra vigilant as they search for housing on popular websites. 

Craigslist is one of the most popular ways for renters to find a place to live. We urge you to be careful as you search. Do as much research as you can on a rental property and the landlord before visiting the unit or signing a rental application.  

Here are a few tips from the Better Business Bureau and other consumer rights groups on how to avoid rental scams: 

Never provide personal information such as your Social Security number or bank information upfront in an email or over the phone. 

Always meet the landlord in person. Talking to them over the phone is not sufficient.

Never agree to rent a unit before actually seeing the inside. Don’t just look at the outside. 

Never pay cash or wire money. Pay your rent and deposit with a check in person. Never pay in cash and do not do a wire transfer. Wiring money is like cash and it is almost impossible to get back. 

Never feel pressured to sign a rental agreement. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and back out. 

To learn more about avoiding rental scams, visit the Better Business Bureau website