5.2 Million People Have Lost $$$ due to Rental Fraud

Real Estate Agent with Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com TREC #0492321

Rental fraud has affected millions of renters, and especially those in the Millennial age groups. Check out the full study on the Million Dollar Scam on Renters.  See some Key Highlights:

  • An estimated 43.1 percent of renters have encountered a listing they suspected was fraudulent, and 5.2 million U.S. renters have lost money from rental fraud.
  • Younger renters are more likely to experience rental fraud, with 9.1 percent of 18 to 29-year-old renters having lost money on a rental scam, compared to 6.4 percent of all renters.
  • Of renters who have lost money in rental scams, one in three have lost over $1,000.
  • Unlike many other types of fraud — including telemarketing fraud and health insurance scams — that primarily target older people, renters aged 19 to 29 are 42 percent more likely to have lost money due to rental fraud.

Rental Fraud


Money Loss:

  • Of the 6.4 percent of renters who lost money due to a rental scam, the median loss is $400, but many renters lost a lot more.
  • An estimated 31.3 percent of rental fraud victims lost over $1,000 from rental scams, and 17.6 percent lost over $2,000

Money Loss 

Types of Fraud:

Renters were surveyed to categorize their fraud experiences. Listed below are rankings for these common types of rental fraud schemes from most common to least common:

  1. Bait-and-Switch: A different property is advertised than the available rental, and the scammer tries to collect a deposit or get a lease signed for this property.
  2. Phantom Rentals: A scam artist makes up listings for places that don’t exist or aren’t rentals and tries to lure renters with low prices.
  3. Hijacked Ads: A fake landlord posts advertisements for a real property with altered contact information. Homes for sale are often re-listed as rentals in this type of fraud.
  4. Missing Amenities: A real rental is listed as having features and amenities it lacks in order to collect a higher rent, the rental market equivalent of cat fishing in online dating when someone fakes their identity. The leasing agent tries to get renters to sign the lease before they notice the missing amenities.
  5. Already Leased: A real or fake landlord attempts to collect application fees or security deposits for a rental that is already leased.

Different Than Advertised:

Even when an apartment exists, fraud can occur when an apartment is substantially different than advertised. Laundry and A/C are the most lied about amenities.

Different Than Advertised

Changing Processes:

Of renters who lost money from fraud, 88.3 percent altered their rental search process.

Changing Process


Check out this Guide on Steps to Take to Avoid Rental Fraud.

 Content and images were provided by Apartment List. 

Yes, the rental market is just as Hot and as active as the residential and condo sales in and around San Antonio. If you're looking for a professional who knows the city well enough to help you make some important decisions on rental properties, either single family residences or condos, contact Jerry at 210-789-4216 


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Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

How sad, I had two Active Rainers reach out to me because they had clients who went without representation and had the same result... I had no idea that it was such a large scam...Endre

Aug 21, 2018 11:15 PM #1
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Yes, Endre. It's very unfortunate that many have been taken advantage of in the rental industry. Hopefully, future renters will be more cautious.

Aug 22, 2018 06:13 AM #2
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Jerry, I can see this happening alot more now that the rental market is very tight in many places across the nation. Great information to know and to pass on to people thinking of renting. They need to contact a professional before proceeding!

Aug 23, 2018 06:30 PM #3
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Jerry Newman

Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation
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