Uncategorized, 12 September

Online safety

Online commerce is a wonderful thing that helps reduce prices and make transactions between individual easier. However, as with all online platforms, some will try misuse the internet’s anonymity and conduct in a fraudulent manner. The properties listings appearing on the site are published by 3rd party entities (individuals or agencies), and as such we have no control nor accountability for the published content. However, though scam and fraud rarely happen on the site, they are still at risk of occurring, so we prepare a list with top tips to help landlords and tenants be more online-safety conscious when transacting with other individuals online, especially across countries.

TO DO list:

  • Ask to see two forms of ID (passport and a driving licence for example) before you hand over any money or at least a photo of the person holding the ID (to make sure that the ID is not stolen).
  • Get a working phone number and call it. (if possible to get a landline as well, even better).
  • Do a search on social networks or on google to see if you can find further information about the other person.
  • If you’re dealing with a real-estate agency, check our their reviews online and call their office phone.
  • Ask for proof of property ownership (if dealing with a landlord)
  • Feel more secure to with Verified members on the site. This does not mean you should only communicate with verified members, as new members are posting their listings on the constantly, but it does mean that these members have a track record on the site and their identity has been already verified.
  • Use your common sense (if someone is asking you to communicate via email and does not answer directly to your questions about the property – be alert!)

DO NOT DO list:

  • Use your common sense – don’t trust suspicious listings that look “too good to be true”.
  • Never send money via Western Union, Moneygram or similar money transfer companies.
  • Only send money after seeing the lease agreement.
  • Don’t accept an emailed scan of ID from someone you haven’t met. You need to see the actual ID in the presence of the person whose ID it is
  • Don’t use any contact details hidden in ad descriptions or images. Stick to the SpareRoom messaging system till you’re confident who you’re dealing with.
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