With the growth of the internet today, it is easy for people to take advantage of anyone looking to rent. At California Oaks Property Management we have seen an increase in online scams for rentals. I will list a few tips to help people be aware and stay safe when using the internet to look for rentals. Being a property management company, we must advertise available rental listings for owners and one way we do that is via the internet. This is a great way to find information easily,but as always when using the internet one should do so with caution.
My first tip is to always check our direct website for the most accurate, and up to date information. If you see a listing that seems too good to be true, check our website to verify. If it isn’t listed on our website, then it’s most likely a scam. This happens a lot on Craigslist, so be aware. You can also pick up copies of our rental list from our office directly at 2463 E. Main St or contact us at (805)648-1851 if you are unsure of the legitimacy of an ad.
Another good way to tell if an online ad is face is by checking the location. I have heard of people from areas outside of Ventura County(Camarillo, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Oxnard, Carpinteria) reposting our property listings on Craigslist as their own. They will list the same address and just change to Pasadena for example.
If someone asks for money upfront, before processing any kind of paperwork this is a red flag. Our company policy is to require someone to tour a property in person before an application can be taken in, then we will check financials, credit, and background. I cannot speak for all management companies, but this will be the process for all our properties. Never send money to someone online that you have not met in person, I have heard a lot of people will pretend to be an owner of a property and request that you send funds over the internet to secure a property. If you are ever unsure do not hesitate to contact our office.