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House Scams in GERMANY?
Due to high rates, and bureaucracy, finding a place to stay in Germany is a difficult process. House scams are on the rise because individuals are more prone to fall for them. When the advertisements appear to be too good to be true, you should be cautious. Because of the worldwide epidemic and accompanying preventative measures, scammers are taking advantage of this chance to scam people. This blog can assist you if you are looking to rent or purchase a home.
Identifying scam offers might be tricky, but to put it plainly, if the offer for the property appears to be ideal, you should begin checking it more before proceeding with the purchase.
Ways to identify/avoid house scams
1. I am abroad
Scammers will generally make reasons about not being available to meet in person, or they would offer that you deposit money and they will give you the key. Don’t just do it digitally; meet the individual in person before making the deal
One of the most common excuses given by scammers is that they are abroad. They may also need a refundable payment in order to trust you with the house and to courier the keys. Be alert, since you may never see that money again. Be careful of these justifications, since they may appear to be rather gullible. To avoid this or to ensure that it is from a legitimate person, make sure you read and sign a contract before depositing the amount.
2. Valid websites
Make sure you don’t fall victim to a scam on a well-known website since just because it’s on Airbnb or Bookings.com they do have good ones though. Scammers have progressed to the point where they’ve created landing pages that seem like these portals themselves.
When you make a purchase, you will be sent to a different billing system, unlike the normal one. Don’t forget to look at useful flat-finding websites. As a matter of fact, Facebook groups can be useful since people regularly post photographs of the rooms that are available. Although there will be stiff competition, the accommodations will be taken up fast. Many websites can assist you in creating a well-crafted profile that includes all of your house expectations. By reading this, the owners of the residence will have a better understanding of your requirements. Respond immediately to the advertisement and try to mail it in German to ensure you obtain the home you want.
3. Be careful when asking for proofs
When the homeowners are abroad and you try to ask them for identification, they send their passports. Don’t fall for it, and don’t share or display yours either. Passports can easily be forged. The owners may request that you submit data such as a job contract or salary slips; however, do not reveal them since they may easily lead to identity theft, which can cause you problems.
4. Make sure they’re the actual owners
Because the passports cannot be genuine, request documentation verifying the owners’ ownership of the house. They claim that these records were misplaced. This should be a big warning. Even if you simply inquire to see how they respond, asking who the owner is and whether you can speak to them is a smart idea. Aside from refusing to meet with you, another clue that the “homeowner” in issue is a scammer is that they refuse to speak to you on the phone. They are not who they claim to be.
5. Check the current market rates
Always do rental price research in the area or neighborhood where you are looking to rent a place. It will offer you a gist of what type of pricing is appropriate for the specific apartment you’re looking at. This will ensure that any listing with an unusually cheap price will raise red flags in your mind, and you will not rush into paying money to acquire an apartment that simply does not exist.
6. Always double check
If something appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is. Always double-check, whether it’s with Germans you know or friends, or by asking around in Facebook groups as mentioned earlier or online forums. Double-check if you are even the least bit unsure about something. Even if before sealing the deal double-check for safety.
To sum it up
Therefore, renting an apartment comes with its own set of paperwork: you’ll most likely be required to submit a credit rating, bank statements, paycheck slips, and other documentation. If your landlord does not request these documents, you are most likely being scammed.
Report the advertisement and the person to the website where you discovered it, explaining that it is a fake account. If you have any problems with identity fraud in the future, you’ll have a police report to fall back on. Avoiding apartment scams is as simple as not paying money for something you haven’t seen and not paying any money until both parties have completed a rental contract.
These suggestions do not guarantee a scam-free environment for you but they do add a bit to the process and help minimize your chances of being a victim of rental fraud.