How To

How To Avoid Online Scams

While most online scams are easy to spot, some scammers are becoming more sophisticated. Be sure to follow a few basic guidelines when shopping both online and offline, especially during the holidays when scams are more prevalent.

What are common online scams?
If you’re being asked to send cash to someone you’ve never met, you can be certain that the activity is fraudulent. Other scams are likely to be found in connection with Craigslist and individuals claiming to be affiliated with home rental websites. These individuals will typically only be available via email never by phone or in person.


“I’m currently abroad and need you to send a cash deposit”

“Please send your bank account number and cash for a background check to secure this home”

Quick tips:

  • Do your research! Make sure the rental company is reputable. Avoid long distance landlords from foreign countries.
  • Never pay in cash. Most scams ask you send cash or a wire transfer to an unknown source in exchange for securing a rental property. Progress Residential® will never ask for cash payments to rent a home.
  • Require your landlord to present a written lease agreement with all Terms and Conditions outlined.
  • Do not provide your bank account information or Social Security Number to unknown sources.
  • Delete and report email messages from unknown sources with stories of hardship or financial issues.
  • Apply online directly at

Report Fraudulent activity

If you believe you have been scammed, report the incident immediately to the FTC.

FTC Complaint Assistant

Internet Crime Complaint Center

Western Union Customer Service

MoneyGram Customer Service

When reporting scams, include as much as possible of the following: the name and address of the sender, the send location, the date and amount of the transfer, the transfer fee, the date and actual location of the receipt, the name of the receiver, any information recorded regarding the receiver’s identification, the reference number for the transfer, and the details of the nature of the issue.

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