Finding a room, roommate or flatshare through traditional sites like Kijiji, Craigslist or Gumtree or other fly by night websites and platforms can be daunting and risky due to there are no on site verifications method like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Googleplus of which some essential information are hidden as those placing their adverts on these sites don’t seem to be whom they claim to be. But with Roomnett you are rest assured of who you are communication with as we encourage every Roomnett member to verify his or her account by adding their phone number or their favourite social network links like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Googleplus to their profile as its the safest and conventional way to verify who someone claims to be.
When you add your phone number or your social network links like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Googleplus to your account or profile, it would give you more credibility and more trust from any user responding to your Advert. Also when user add his or her favourite social network link, it sets the mind of any user contacting him or her at ease, knowing that this is real person with real live who have nothing to hide.
Essential guidelines that will help you to avoid being scammed when looking for Roommate, Flatmate, Rooms, Apartment, Flat or House
Stay Safe Online
We are dedicated to making your experience with Roomnett as successful and as secure as possible. Emails in your account removed by our administrators have been found to be attempting the below scams. Please read the text below carefully and discontinue communications if it matches the examples below.
Scammers behave differently if you have a room for rent or if you are looking for a room.
Click on the next category that corresponds to your profile to learn more.
You have Room, Apartment, Flat or House for Rent
For example if someone wants to rent your room, Apartment or Flat and demand to send you a cashier check for a month or six, even year’s amount of rent in respect of the rent payment . These checks are FAKE.
Why? When you get the check, the amount is for more money than necessary. On the day you receive the checks; the scammer will contact you and request a REFUND for the amount of money that he/she “overpaid. “Or they make your life miserable (incessant calls, scary requests, etc.) and the only thing you dream of is to give them their money back!!The scam is this:
THEY GIVE YOU FAKE CHECKS AND THEN WANT YOU TO WIRE TRANSFER “PHANTOM” MONEY BACK TO THEM. Your bank will call you 3 weeks after they credited your account and tell you the check was counterfeit.
Some other notes about scammers:
Scammers are usually outside the country and most often use Western Union or MoneyGram. NEVER SEND MONEY THROUGH WESTERN UNION or MONEYGRAM, THIS IS ALWAYS A SCAM
Scammers will not only send you cashier’s checks for a year - they will ask you to rent your room for three months. The check is then written for a large sum and the Scammer who sent it asks that the balance is sent back minus the rent and deposit. By the time the money is sent off, the victim finds that the check was counterfeit.
You need Room, Apartment or Flat to Rent
Let’s say you’re moving across the country or to another country. You contact someone offering a great room at a great price.
The only issue is that he/she requests that you send a deposit BEFORE you actually get to see the room. You’re so far away and need to get a room fast, so what do you do? You send the money. A couple of weeks later, with all your stuff in a van, you are standing in front of your new apartment or flat. Only it’s not an apartment – it’s a dilapidated warehouse!
Your “new” roommate or flatmate is nowhere to be found and neither is the money that you sent him or her.
They may even ask you to send money to yourself through Western Union or MoneyGram, or any other third party money transfer services to prove that you have the funds. Sounds safe, but it's not. They will make a fake ID with your name, and pick up the funds without you knowing. When you go to retrieve your money, it’s already been picked by someone else.
Learn how to avoid being scammed
Payment by Money transfer:
Money transfers can’t be traced (e.g. Western Union or MoneyGram) and that’s why scammers use this method to receive payment. If you are requested to use money transfer services before even viewing the rental. Be prepared to ask if they will accept an alternative payment means. Also never pass on a receipt for a money transfer even if the transaction was carried out with friends or family - receipts allow scammers to access the funds.
Always visit the house:
The best method to confirm if a House share or Rental is bona fide is to visit the property and meet the person renting it out. Be suspicious of anyone who refuses to let you visit the room.
Most scams come from abroad. If someone tells you they are away on holiday or on a business trip when trying to arrange a viewing, be apprehensive, particularly if they say you can’t see the room because of this.
Paying money upfront:
Deposits are standard in renting; paying money upfront to secure a room is certainly not. Make sure you see the room and meet the person before you pay any money upfront.
For example if the person renting the room states you must pay by money transfer to hold the room before you arrange a viewing, be careful. Scammers will say anything to get you to send funds, so if you’re uncertain, be assertive and ask questions, remember you can say “no” and there are plenty of other rooms.
It looks too good to be true:
Sounds too cheap? Looks absolutely fantastic like it’s a five star hotel? Steer clear of very cheap rents for the area or very professional looking photos.
Distant roommate or Flatmate offers a high-value (but fake) cashier's check.
Distant roommate or Flatmate requests payment via Western Union or MoneyGram
Distant roommate or Flatmate offers to send you a cashier's check and then have you wire money
Distant roommate or Flatmate suggests use of an online escrow service
People offering rooms and apartments to rent asking for upfront wire transfers before they send you the keys, but the keys never come