Two-bedroom apartment to let in Prague 6 for 6000 Kč (235 €) per month
When I noticed this offer on the well-known real estate server, I was surprised: "Wow, such a cheap flat to let in Prague 6? It can't be true." I sent the advertiser an email and waited impatiently for a reply. The potential scammer took his/her sweet time...
Apartment rental scamsApartment rental scams are not a problem just in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The trend of fake apartments to let those scammers offer for very favorable prices is spreading.
The person who finds such a tempting offer first writes to the scammer and the scenario that follows is basically the same. A fake landlord introduces himself/herself as a foreigner who, for example, works abroad. However, if you are interested in viewing the apartment, the landlord tells you that he/she first needs a guarantee that you are really interested in this offer. Then he/she will come, show you a flat and you sign a contract together. The scammer pretends to be afraid as he/she doesn't want to make an unnecessary trip abroad and back. So, he/she really needs your guarantee. The guarantee of your real interest is usually hundreds of Euros. If you send the money to the fake landlord, you will probably never see it again, just like that fake apartment.
The problem is that scammers abuse people's trust in already established brands. They act as Airbnb landlords or even advertise on real estate servers, act on websites under the name of existing landlords, etc.
How not to be fooled?
One basic rule is not to pay any rent or a refundable deposit if you didn't sign a lease agreement. But there are other ways to recognize a scammer.
Cheap rental is suspicious
So if you find an incredible offer from a person you've never seen before, take it with a pinch of salt.
Trust but verify
For example, you can verify your potential landlord at the real estate cadastre (ČZÚK in the Czech Republic). Depending on the given address, you can find a list of owners of each apartment. Cannot you find your friendly landlord in the list? Ask the landlord and be careful.
The potential scammer finally replied
The scammer I contacted before finally replied. Check out the e-mails that he/she sent me:
So, the potential scammer turned out to be a real one. In the e-mails that he/she sent me, you can see one of their tricks how to scam people. Allegedly, they'll send you apartment keys, but you have to pay first, but the keys will never arrive after that.
This won't happen to you with Flatio, because we cover your back and we send money to the landlord after you'll move in! So if you need accommodation for a short term rental or for longer stays (for example a few months), you're at the right place. All of our apartments and rooms are fully furnished and also kinda luxurious. And you can also try co-living with us! Whether you are a student of the Erasmus program or just an employee who needs accommodation for work stay in Prague and its districts (Prague 7, Prague 9, Prague 11, Prague 13, Prague 18, etc.) or Brno and its districts (Bohunice, Střed, etc.), Flatio is the right choice.