Before spending money on a place to live, you should spend time making sure you’re not being scammed. Three Murray State University students had a recent close call while trying to find an apartment to rent.
The students were close to losing the first month’s rent and a security deposit.
Rebecca Landolt has been in real estate for 38 years. She says 90 percent of her business comes from the internet, but it should be used with caution, especially Craigslist. A home she’s selling at 801 Broad Street in Murray was listed “for rent” on the website.
The original owner of the home recently passed away. Now, it’s being used to take advantage of college students not from the area.
But, for incoming Murray resident like Jaden Murphy, there is a safer alternative to house shopping. “I'm a little skeptical going on sites like that. I'd rather have something in hand,” Murphy said.
Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce President Aaron Dail says his office is happy to help students and families. He says more than 300 people a month come to get a rental list.
The list costs $2 cash or $3 via card, but Dial says it's much safer than trusting the web. The property owners pay to be on it, so he believes that cuts down on the scam chances. He says the chamber offers advice to keep from becoming a target. “If it sounds too good to be true, and if it doesn't feel like it's a good situation, then move onto the next thing,” he says.
He adds that you should always err on the side of caution.