Scammers can be found on all kinds of platforms, including housing platforms. By placing a fake advertisement, scammers will try to take money or important documents from house hunters. Pararius is doing its utmost to prevent fake property advertisements from being offered on its platform. Pararius personally checks every agency. Yet, scamming can not always be prevented. We advise you to be alert at all times and to read the following tips to keep you from becoming a victim of scamming practices.
How to recognize a fake advertisement?
Note the relationship between the square meters and the monthly rent. If the average square meter price seems far too low, then that is probably the case. When you are asked to make a down payment before you can view a property, be aware: this is - in most cases - a suspicious request. If you have any doubts about an advertisement after visiting a property, contact Pararius. We can always tell you if the advertisement is trustworthy or not.
If the owner of an apartment contacts you directly, think twice. All properties offered on Pararius are offered by estate agencies or other professional parties, never by a private landlord himself.
Lastly, always check if the email address of the person you are in contact with matches the web address of the realtor’s website. For example: ‘abcd real estate’ should have an email address ending with ...@abcdrealestate.nl/.com and the company name should be shown correctly in the logo or on the website www.abcdrealestate.nl/.com.
What to do if you can rent directly from a private landlord via websites other than Pararius?
If you can rent directly from someone without the interference of a real estate agent, make sure you do a background check on that person. The Dutch website Kadaster will tell you if this person is the legal owner. Make sure the landlord legitimises himself to you for verification.
Always check if the website has a phone number and call this number to see if there is an actual team working for that specific website. If you are dealing with a professional party, you should be able to reach them.
In addition, keep our golden rule in mind: if something seems too good to be true then - unfortunately - that is probably the case. Be careful at all times and never just share any personal information or documents.
How does Pararius counter fake advertisements?
The rental market and tenancy law has many pitfalls and Pararius considers the supervising role of a real estate agent of great importance. Therefore, private landlords cannot advertise their properties on our platform without the help of a real estate agent. All correspondence regarding a property should be done by a professional party. The advertising policy of Pararius is set up in such a way that only parties registered with the Chamber of Commerce can advertise on our website. In addition, they must meet our code of conduct. These and other criteria are personally checked by our team.
How is it possible that fake advertisements could appear on Pararius?
Sometimes, an agency does not handle its data with enough care and a scammer is able profit from that. This, for example, might happen when a realtor clicks on a link in an email that turns out to be a phishingmail. If this is the case, scammers are able to place fake advertisements through the account of an actual realtor. Our quality- & support team runs daily checks to make sure Pararius is showing correct advertisements.
Is paying to view an apartment normal?
A real estate agent is only allowed to charge commission if you ask him to help you find a property that is not part of his own portfolio. The portfolio of a real estate agent contains properties of different landlords who asked this particular real estate agent to search for a tenant. If you ask a real estate agent to search for a property outside of his own portfolio he may charge you for this with a mediation fee. In this case he represents your interests as a mediator.