Be on the look-out for signs such as:
- Changes to the contact information on listings
- Fake rentals, and
- Lower-than-market-rate rent
Often, these point to a security-deposit scam.
To avoid losing your money, remember to never pay up-front, even if the person requests it. This is common in rental scams.
Always compare costs in your market, and insist on meeting the person at the property. Your agent can help you in the process.
Finally, be alert and attentive when browsing online for a rental. The Federal Trade Commission accepts complaints about rental scams on its website.