Renter Beware: How to Protect Yourself from Housing Scams

Posted on 11/30/22 by The AARP Bulletin

If an apartment listing seems too good to be true, it probably is.

AARP Arizona has some tips on how to make sure you don’t fall for it anyway.

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, the amount reported lost to real estate and rental scams nationwide increased by 64 percent from 2020 to 2021. One way scammers target renters is by advertising low rent prices in online ads.

In the Phoenix area, a lot of those prices are fiction. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the metro area is about $1,600 a month. If you spot a listing promising something much cheaper, it could be a scam. Other red flags: not being able to physically meet the listing’s contact, or the contact asking you to wire money, such as for a security deposit.

Protect yourself from such scams by visiting At the site, sign up for watchdog alerts, or you can text “FWN” to 50757 to receive text alerts.

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

More from AARP in Phoenix

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at; additional AARP information and resources are at En español, visite

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • 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 Phoenix
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner