Advice to avoid rental scams

With the fall semester coming to an end soon and an increase in face-to-face classes at HSU, many students will be coming back for the spring semester looking for housing. As students look for off-campus housing, it is important to be mindful of potential scams.

HSU offers resources such as the Off-Campus Housing Office led by Chant’e Catt. She started Off-Campus Housing Office to help students find housing in Humboldt County, which has historically had a housing crisis. The office offers resources and links to avoid rental scams, possible listings, checklists and much more. 

Catt provides advice to avoid rental scams, including:  

  1. Look out for red flags such as asking personal questions, or people trying to invoke emotions in order to try and have you send a deposit.
  2. Do not sign up for any applications that are emailed to you. Most likely those are fraudulent and have spelling errors. 
  3. Do not send money before seeing the apartment in person. If you cannot look at your apartment or room in-person, contact Catt or have a friend look into the listing for you.
  4. Use your HSU email address as it can help look into data phishers with encrypted emails. 
  5. Check out the Scam Rental Listings link on the Off-Campus Housing website. It has a list of information on fake rental opportunities. The database includes contact information, name, and description that would be used in scam listings.

Additional advice and off-campus housing resources can be found at www.housing.humboldt.edu/resident-resources/off-campus. People can sign up for the Off Campus Weekly Newsletter where they do weekly listing updates.

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