The Better Business Bureau wants to help you avoid being taken in by a Real Estate Scam. The scammers can hijack a rental or real estate listing and make up listings that either aren't for rent or don't exist in order to lure victims in with the promise of low rent or a great sale price. Here are some signs you may encounter when dealing with a scam.
They want you to wire money. There is no reason to wire money for a security deposit, an application fee, or first month's rent. Once the money is sent, there is no way to get it back.
They want a security deposit or first month's rent. If they ask for this before you've met or signed a lease, it isn't a good idea when you haven't seen the property or the property owner.
They say they're out of the country. Though they claim to have a plan to give you the key, this will likely involve an “agent” working on their behalf. Scammers sometimes even create fake keys.