How to protect yourself
Roomies works hard to provide a safe online platform, but it is important to remain vigilant when searching for your next roommate.
Scammers can be very convincing at getting you to send money, bank account information, or personal information before viewing the property. Please read about the following warning signs to keep your search practices safe.
Warning signs of a potential scammer
Request money before viewing the property
Think twice before handing over money. Never transfer any funds via Western Union, MoneyGram, or any other bank transfer apps, e.g Zelle or CashApp, to anyone you have not met in person. Scammers may urge you to send payments to hold the room before viewing and then promise to send the keys after a transfer is made. Consider this a Big Red Flag.
Tip: If you are overseas or out-of-state, you can request a live video tour of the property. Scammers almost never have access to the actual rental listing, so they may deny live video chats and/or tours.
Too good to be true listings
Be wary of any rental listings that are at below-market price, especially If you are unable to view the property in person.
"Out of town" or "overseas"
Scammers may claim that they are out of town or overseas and there is no one else that can show you the property, but they will mail you the keys after a deposit is made and promise a refund if you don’t like what you see. They may also suggest that you visit the property from the outside and look inside the window.
Invoices with Roomies' logo
Roomies does not issue invoices for security deposits or rental payments as we do not directly collect these payments. Scammers may copy and paste the Roomies logo to make their invoices seem more convincing.
"Send me a photo of your ID"
It is common for scammers to send a selfie photo of a person holding an ID, and then request that you send them a photo of yourself doing the same. This is how they try to gain the user’s trust and attempt to steal your Identity. Don’t be afraid to say you would prefer to show your ID in person instead. Remember, if you cannot meet in person, you can request to do a live video chat.
Requesting personal details
Scammers may request personal details from you, such as social security number, driver’s license number, or bank information. This may be requested in an application form. It is important to first verify that it is a trusted source before providing sensitive information.
Communication outside of the platform
When receiving a direct text message from someone claiming that they saw your listing on Roomies.com, request that they provide the link to their Roomies listing. It is never a good sign if they give excuses as to why they can’t send you the link or give reasons why they no longer have an active listing.
If a person sends you a check or a money order that exceeds your deposit amount and request that you return the over-payment immediately, this an attempt to receive the “over paid” amount before you realize the check was counterfeit.
Sense of urgency or pressure
Scammers have a very short window before their victim starts to become suspicious, and they know this. They will often create a great amount of pressure for you to send money, documentation or personal details. Some of the tactics they use include threats that another person is going to get the property or creating a false sense of obligation on your end (“you promised you’d send me the money today”).
Remember to be alert to any inconsistent stories.
Let’s fight scams together!
If you believe you have found a fraudulent listing on Roomies, please report them by clicking on the report link at the bottom of their listing and selecting Suspected Scammer.