How to protect yourself
Follow our helpful tips and find your new place with confidence.
How do I protect myself from scammers?
Always make contact through the website
Scammers will always try to get you to immediately converse with them via email off the website so we are unable to track their activity. Contacting members through the website ensures that we can warn you should we find anything suspicious about their listing.
Never pay any money before viewing
Most scammers are advertising a property that doesn’t exist. Very rarely will a scammer offer you a property viewing or meeting with them. Most listings made by a scammer will be a one-bedroom or studio property, as in these cases no roommates will be available to show you the property. They will request upfront payment and promise to courier you the keys.
Never transfer money to someone you have never met, or for a property you have never seen.
Signs of a scammer
- Offer is too good to be true.
- They have wild stories about sickness, urgent business or being overseas.
- They want to send you the keys via DHL or express post.
- They cannot show you the property.
If you’re overseas, a video call is the best way to view a property and meet potential flatmates. Scammers will, in most cases, never offer or accept a video call.
How can I keep my information private?
The messaging system on Flatmates.com.au has been designed to help make communication between members simple, centralised and above all, safe. You can use the message system to contact and converse with other members about their property.
When you feel comfortable or you are proceeding to an inspection, you can exchange contact details via the message system. Never send copies of your identification, bank details or login details to someone you have not met. Your identification, if needed, can be shown in person at the inspection.
If a copy of your identification is required, provide these in person. Never send copies of your identification to someone you have not met via email or text.
Meeting flatmates and inspecting the property
Inspecting the property and meeting the other flatmates is a crucial step to finding the right home. You should never agree to, or place a deposit on, a property you have not seen.
Prior to inspecting the home, ensure you get the complete address and contact details of the person you’re meeting. Let someone know where you are going and how long you should be.
Take your time during the viewing and don’t feel pressured into making an immediate decision. If you need more time, let the landlord know you’d like to think about it.
Like with any situation, if you feel uncomfortable, uncertain or the listing was misrepresented, you should leave immediately and let the Flatmates.com.au team know via the report link.
If you’re nervous or unsure about inspecting the property, take along a friend.