We here at University of South Florida and Off-Campus Housing 101 value our customers. We greatly appreciate the trust you give us in helping you with your rental needs. We have had many success stories of both students and landlords using our service, but occasionally we hear reports of people attempting to defraud our users.
There are many known scams, and new ones are invented every day. Below is a list of common scams (or "pitches"), click the links for a detailed description plus some tips on how to avoid being caught in one!
Remember, it is always easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble. Using common-sense is your best defense; never send money to anyone that you haven't first verified the legitimacy of any transaction or party.
We have created these Rental Listing Fraud Awareness webpages to help educate our customers so that they are able to achieve their goals - which are renting their property, finding a property to rent or finding a roommate - and do so in confidence and without fear.
ECOM Media Group Inc. and our Network of rental websites, is an online classified advertising system. We will pull any ad that looks suspicious off of our websites immediately. If you suspect an Ad is not legitimate on one of our sites, please contact us by email (please include the Ad listing number) at firstname.lastname@example.org seven days a week or phone us toll free at 1-800-862-9874, Monday thru Friday, 7:30am to 4pm PT.
Please Note: We are not involved in transactions between you and any of the individuals you communicate with outside of our Network. We do not guarantee any transaction, certify any landlords OR renters, nor do we provide protection for payments transacted between our customers and outside parties.
Customers have asked us, "can someone steal my ad, personal information or pictures on this site?" Unfortunately, YES. Copying and pasting ads, or parts of an ad, is NOT a crime. Scammers "steal" their ad material from various classified ad sites - and even more surprising, they take material from independent real estate sites and the real estate Multiple Listing Service! So should you stop using pictures on our site? No! Pictures are what is going to get your home rented!
To help prevent this, we suggest to our customers that they do NOT use the actual house number on their listings (use "Apple Drive" instead of "123 Apple Drive" or use cross-streets, like "Apple Drive and Peach Road" so prospective renters can still Google Map your location). This makes your ad less desirable for scammers to use since they need an actual physical address to send people to.
Please Note: On our "Add a Listing" form (where you originally created your ad) in the bottom of the "Current Contact Info" section, you will find the following statement regarding the possibility of your information being made public on the internet. You can easily "modify" your listing (by creating an Alternate Contact) to follow these guidelines: