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:
- 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.
- Do not sign up for any applications that are emailed to you. Most likely those are fraudulent and have spelling errors.
- 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.
- Use your HSU email address as it can help look into data phishers with encrypted emails.
- 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.