Rental Scams on the Rise Amid Tight Housing Market

Posted on 08/02/22 by Nancy Carr

Criminals copy legitimate listings and look for easy cash by collecting the first month’s rent, deposit, and application fees and then bolt before handing over the keys. Numerous versions of rental frauds abound – some are bait-and-switch while others will attempt to rent out properties that are already leased or otherwise unavailable.

These fake rental schemes happen every year and would-be renters are losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars. When renting a place, watch out for scammers who ask you to sign before seeing anything or request payment via wire transfer, peer to peer apps or cash. Do your research on the property and owner and read agreements carefully.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork  or call the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360 and speak to trained staff or volunteers for help with a fraud encounter.

This story is provided by AARP Maryland. Visit the AARP Maryland page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

More from AARP in Annapolis

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »


Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today

JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR

  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Annapolis
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner
JOIN NOW