How to recognise and avoid apartment scams
Scammers posing as landlords
Just by searching for “apartments for rent in Barcelona”, you’ll come across illegitimate apartment adverts without even knowing it. The advert will probably seem normal, with photos of the interior and exterior, but the scammer will have simply taken those from another advert elsewhere. The first warning sign is if the price of the apartment is unusually low. That’s not to say that it’s fake, but one indicator is that “if something is too good to be true, then it usually is”.
Phishing means to fish for personal information, usually in an attempt to get money or commit fraud as a person. Phishing usually consists of replicating the appearance of a well-known website in order to get you to think that you are reserving an apartment, when in fact you’re just passing them your sensitive personal information through the fake booking form. However, anyone could pretend they have an apartment to rent, via Facebook or email, and ask for you to send them details to make a payment. You should be cautious of giving any information, not just credit card details.
How to report an apartment scam in Barcelona
If you’ve identified an apartment scam, try to gather as much information as possible on the person behind the scam. Always keep your correspondences, such as email and messages. Take screenshots of any advert or Facebook posts they may have made, or anything that could later be deleted.