August Scam of the Month - Council on Aging

Rental Housing Scams

All across Middle Tennessee affordable housing is getting more difficult to find. Scammers have ramped up their efforts and rental housing scams have increased. Before starting your housing search, beware of these red flags:


  1. The owner will not meet you in person. Don’t fall for the “overseas” excuse for not meeting you face to face.
  2. Never wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card. That’s like sending cash and cannot be traced.
  3. The price is too good to be true. If the listing is significantly less than other homes in the neighborhood, move on. If it sounds too good, it probably is.
  4. You are not able to see the property. NEVER send money or sign any paperwork before seeing the property.
  5. Landlord asks for your banking information. There is no reason for the owner to ask for your personal financial details.
  6. The listing has poor grammar, word order and/or frequent spelling mistakes.
  7. You feel rushed. Scammers want to move quickly, so if you feel that the landlord is overeager and pressuring you, walk away.
  8. Cash only. You should NEVER pay any fee in cash. Scammers want to avoid creating a paper trail.
By being aware of these scam techniques, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Sources: Better Business Bureau and