On-line fraud is on the rise – particularly rental fraud.  The following are tips on avoiding this type of fraud.

  • Always request proof of Stanford affiliation and inspect it to be sure that it looks authentic.

  • Request to see photo ID.

  • Never send money to someone out of the area who contacts you about a sublicense arrangement.

  • Never wire money, send MoneyGrams, or send pre-paid debit cards to people with whom you are doing business online.

  • If someone sends you a cashier’s check or money order for payment, take it to your bank and request that they validate the check without depositing it.  The bank should run the check to see if the routing number is printed using magnetic ink, and should call in the routing number to see if the numbers are real.

  • Never provide information that could be used for identity theft, such as bank account information.

  • Be suspicious of emails with the following:

    • Many spelling, punctuation, and/or grammatical errors

    • Questions that show that the person did not carefully read your advertisement (asks questions that were answered in the listing)

    • A request to send you more than the amount owed and for you to send them the balance

    • Requests to use an online escrow company or third party to handle payments