Too good to be true?

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Some time ago, we were looking for new developers to join our team. Luckily, we found what we needed, and are now very excitingly waiting for the new team member to arrive! But first we have to take care of some practical issues, like finding a place for our new developer to stay.

We were searching for apartments, and found one that looked extremely good: spacious, conveniently located close to the office, and very reasonably priced — Some 30 % cheaper than similar apartments in the neighborhood! “Too good to be true”, we thought, but decided to ask for more information just in case.

Within half an hour of sending the questions, we received a response. After a few sentences in poor Finnish, the message continued in English:

I have decided to rent the apartment because my financial situation is not so good at this time… I just received a new work contract on the Dunbar Oil platform and I will be there for at least 8 months per year…

Seeing the apartment would have been a bit tricky:

Due to my work I can not come to Finland to show you the apartment in person… I suggest to use a multinational renting service…

Sure, reserving the apartment would have cost some money:

In case we understand for the transaction, I want the tenant to pay one month in advance and two months as guarantee deposit (there will be a total of 1.980 EUR).

Of course, renting itself would have been very easy, as soon as money changes hands:

So, if you are interested to rent the apartment now or for the near future, I can reserve the apartment for you without any problems, we just need to agree for the transaction details.

How does that sound to you? Sounds like scam to us. Right after this email discussion, the announcement disappeared from the site.

Unfortunately, housing scams have grown in popularity due to a high demand in affordable apartments. In many cases, the apartment is not really available for rent, or in the worst case, it doesn’t even exist, and the “owner” disappears with the deposit money.

Remember this rule of thumb: When something seems too good to be true, it might very well be. WOT helps you find trusted sites, but common sense is also needed offline.

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