What Must I Know About Rental Identity Theft in Los Angeles?

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Apartment hunting can be exhausting. Not only do you have to search for a unit within your budget, but you also need to consider the amenities, your commute to work, and the neighborhood. However, after touring what seems like hundreds of places, you find the perfect location online. When you find the ideal property, you may be eager to apply as soon as possible. However, once you’ve filed the forms, you never hear from the landlord again, and your credit score has decreased drastically. Unfortunately, you may be a victim of rental identity theft. If this reflects your circumstances, you’ll want to keep reading to learn how a Los Angeles, California identity theft lawyer can assist you through these challenging times.

What Is Rental Identity Theft?

Rental identity theft occurs when someone lists a fake property to gain the personal and financial information of those who apply. Scammers sometimes create phony listings by duplicating legitimate rental advertisements or creating fake properties to list online that look real.

Generally, a landlord or property management company will ask applicants to provide their social security number to do a credit check to ensure the potential renter is not a risk of missing payments. However, by having access to this information, as well as the additional financial and personal details of a potential renter, the landlord or property management company, if they are not a legitimate entity, can use this to commit identity theft.

What Warning Signs Should I Look For?

One of the most important signs that the rental you’re interested in isn’t legitimate is the price. If you find a stunning two-bedroom unit in Bel Air for $1,500 a month, it’s likely a ruse to get unsuspecting renters to apply. As such, it’s vital to research the average apartment prices in the areas you’re interested in, as something that seems like a steal may be too good to be true.

Additionally, if the leasing or property manager refuses to meet with you in person or show you the unit before signing the lease, this can be a red flag that the listing is not legitimate. Similarly, if you find the photos of the property under multiple addresses across different neighborhoods in Los Angeles, it likely isn’t a real available property.

If I Think I’ve Been Scammed, What Should I Do?

If you believe you’ve been a victim of rental identity theft, it’s necessary to take immediate action to protect your identity and the future of your finances. You should connect with an experienced attorney with Los Angeles Legal Solutions as soon as possible. They can help you mitigate damages to repair your credit and fight for the justice you deserve from the scammer responsible for impacting your identity.

When you need help, LA Legal Solutions is ready. Connect with us today to learn how our dedicated legal team will fight for you every step along the way.

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