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Cover photo for blog titled: 5 Most Common Rental Scams On Facebook. Image depicts a symbols/representations of a Skull and Devil Emoji.

5 Most Common Rental Scams On Facebook



It's our mission at Sharehouse to build healthy rental communities. This year we've grown our Facebook groups to 12,000 members throughout Australia.

It doesn't come without it's troubles. On average we manually block 4-8 scammers per day, this ads up to more than 2,000 per year!

At this point, we've begun to see a number of patterns emerge, and even spotted repeat offenders that jump between groups

In this blog post we break down:

5 Of The Most Common Scams We See (And How To Avoid Them)#

Facebook Scam Post Showing a Fake Rental Listing
Fake Listing Scam

This is one of the hardest ones to pick up on. Typically scammers will take property photos from a realestate website and upload them to Facebook. Most of these scam operations are done in bulk across mutiple cities, or countries. They often end up re-using real estate photos from another country. Look out for tell-tale signs that it isn't in Australia. What do the appliances look like? Are What does the furniture and flooring look like? A dead give away is if the power sockets aren't the typical three prong style. If the property looks 100% Australian it could still be phoney.

🪄 Top Tip: Try Reverse Image Search the photos to check whether they're original or from a real estate website. Most sites will say if the property is on market giving you a good idea whether or not it's available. See [1], [2]

Facebook Scam Post Showing a Local Jobs Scam

Local Job Scams

A low tier scam exploiting peoples need for work. Treat job postings with a healthy dose of skepticism. They often report lavish hourly wages, mention something about transportation included, or the work being night shift. Most rental groups that are moderated keep posts on-topic, meaning these posts should be banned anyway.

'PM Me'

This is one of the most innocent messages, and it's hard to moderate from an Admin perspective. It's 100% possible that this is a genuine person looking to discuss an offer, but this is also done a lot of the time to prevent scammers outing themselves to the group. This is a common technique to lure people into a private chat to discuss shady deals. Be sure to read our next section on Telltale Signs.

One of the prevalent facebook rental scams
'Try this site, I hope it will be helpful' Scam

Do you also enjoy reading 10 thousand 'Try this site' messages? We've found it honestly absurd how widespread this specific message is. These links almost always go to a dodgy website. We recommend leaving this one out too.

Facebook Scam Post Showing a Dating Scam

The Dating Scam

Alright this one should be pretty obvious by now, since the dawn of the internet there's been Adult/Dating scams floating around. Give anything dating related a hard pass.

Telltale Signs (Other Things To Look Out For)#

'Send me a screenshot of the listing'

This likely means they're running this scam in multiple groups and they can't even keep track of what went where. 🚨 AVOID

Something seems off about their account

They have no mutual friends (or none at all), their profile picture is clearly from another country/culture, they have no post history. 🚨 AVOID

Sending Personal Details, Sending Bond

Never send bond payments, holding payments, id check payments… any kind of payments. Do not send money without having met them IRL. Bonds are typically transferred through state websites. 🚨 AVOID

What To Do If You've Been Scammed#

The first thing you need to do is contact your bank immediately. If you've transferred the funds via an Australian bank account then this is something you should be able to reverse.

Australian banks have dedicated support teams for this kind of thing. You should be able to find the support team by a quick google search. Type in the name of your bank and the words 'scam support' or 'fraud support'.

Here are a few popular banks and their support numbers details:

Final Thoughts#

If you want to help out in the fight against rental scams, we recommend any of the following actions:

  1. Report suspicious posts to admins of the groups you are in
  2. Comment on suspicious posts to warn others
  3. Report groups that are not moderated to Facebook
  4. To spread awareness consider sharing this guide with friends, family or your local rental group

That's a wrap, we hope this helps you avoid some of the scams that are floating around. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or via email (found in the footer).

Next post

Guide to Rental Alterations (ACT)



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