8 tips to stay safe while searching for a home online
Your safety is important to us. That’s why we do our best to keep the platform free of inauthentic landlords and housing ads by performing automatic and manuals screenings on all incoming rooms, studio’s and apartments. However, once in a while, crafty scammers manage to bypass our moderation. Therefore, it is important that you always exercise your own judgment about whom to interact with on the platform. To dramatically lower your chances of falling for a rental scam, we recommend using the following guidelines as an extra security measure while looking for a new home in the Netherlands:
1. Stay realistic
Double-check housing ads that seem too good to be true. Scammers might use lower prices to lure tenants into a scam. Be sure to check out comparable rooms or apartments in the neighborhood to get an idea of what you would expect to pay for a similar home.
2. Remain Vigilant
Stay vigilant while searching for a home online. If you spot a lot of spelling or grammar mistakes, proceed with caution. Most scammers aren’t actually from the Netherlands and use an online translator to communicate with tenants.
3. Never leave the Kamernet platform
Never leave the secured Kamernet platform and communicate via the Kamernet website or app. Be cautious of landlords who try to persuade you to leave the platform for any reason. If a landlord is adamant about leaving the platform, be cautious and contact our support for assistance. Should you chose to leave the secured Kamernet platform to continue the communication elsewhere, proceed with caution and make sure you document all communication.
4. Ask for verification
When you are doubting the authenticity of a landlord, you can always ask them to verify themselves via RentOK! The landlord is then asked to verify their identity by using their Dutch bank account. Once a landlord has been bank verified, you can use RentOK to safely make a down-payment or to transfer the first month’s rent or deposit to the landlord. Verification through RentOK is completely free, so there is no valid reason for a landlord to refuse getting verified.
5. Never send a copy of your ID
Do not send a landlord a copy of your ID-card or passport in advance. If you do decide to send out a copy of your ID-card, make sure to write the date on it and make sure only the necessary data is left visible. This makes it much harder for others to misuse your identity. Lower the risk of identity fraud by only considering sending legal documents to bank verified landlords.
6. Get a lease or rental agreement
Always make sure you have a lease or rental agreement, read it through carefully and do not make any payments without having it signed by both parties.
7. Pay safely via RentOK
Are you incapable of meeting the landlord in person? Protect yourself by transferring your rent or deposit through RentOK and get guaranteed of a key. By paying through RentOK, your payment won’t go to the landlord directly but will be kept safe until you have received the keys to your new home.
8. Avoid unusual forms of payments
Never transfer money to someone outside of the Netherlands, never pay in cash and avoid unusual forms of payment such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Do not let your guard down when landlords ask you to pay through familiar websites such as Airbnb or HomeAway. The payment links to these sites are often fake and untraceable. It can be hard to know when it’s safe to transfer money to a new landlord, so if you are unsure of what to do, please contact our support team for help.
What can I do against scammers?
If you notice any suspicious behavior on the Kamernet website or app, please contact our support team so we can start investigating. We take pride in protecting your experience on Kamernet and will take any report very seriously and will remove unauthentic ads from the platform.