10 Signs the Apartment you’re looking at is a Scam

A lot is going on (or also not going on) on the apartment market right now. It’s become harder than ever to find a decent place in Berlin for a reasonable price. This of course, also attracts lots of scammers.

This list provides you with the main signs, which will tell you, to just stay away from that place, because it’s one of the million scams, which are around. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to detect, because the wording of the emails and the procedure of the scam hasn’t changed much in recent years.

Here you are: 10 reasons, the flat offer is a scam:

  1. It is not possible to visit the apartment before you pay
  2. Payment needs to be transferred to a bank account, that doesn’t match the name of the person you’re emailing with
  3. Payment needs to be transferred through some alternative payment method (such as Western Union, Paysafe, etc.)
  4. The owner states, that they bought their apartment for their son or daughter, who currently lives elsewhere
  5. The owner says, that the keys will be sent by mail after you transfer the deposit
  6. The owner claims to not live in Germany, usually it is the UK
  7. The owner has a very generic name, such as „John Miller“ or „Frank Walter“ (yes, actually, this is true, I’ve seen many of those scam emails)
  8. The pictures can be found elsewhere with google picture search
  9. There are 10 other offers, with almost the exact same wording
  10. It just looks too good to be true. Seriously, trust your instinct, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is. Nobody (sadly, anymore) rents out a beautifully furnished 2 bedroom apartment in the middle of Kreuzberg or even Mitte for 400€.


Good luck hunting!

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