Warning: fraudulent advertisements

Beware of fraudulent advertisements on the internet!

When you are looking for student accommodation, beware of fraudulent advertisements on the internet. Fake landlords are renting out non-existent accommodation. Other imposters use stolen identities to rent out existing accommodation. They target international students in particular. We certainly don’t want to scare you off but we want to advise you to be cautious.

  • Be skeptical for ads at a lower rent than other student accommodation in that area. If the ad looks to good to be true, it usually is.
  • Check the pictures thoroughly, has it been photoshopped? 
  • Ask for a tour: possibly online or if possible ask a friend who is already in Belgium. Scammers usually report that they are not in Belgium at the moment, which makes a visit ‘difficult’. The scammer always has an excuse why you cannot view the room or studio before you transfer the money. 
  • Request to get in touch with the owner of the property.  
  • Always ask for the landlord’s personal information (like name, phone number, adress?..). But be alert, scammers often use fake ID information.
  • Double check the provided address on Google Maps to see if it exists and it looks like student accommodation. For example, do the pictures of the windows match what you see on the advertisement? Scammers often use an address without checking the building.
  • Never pay a deposit before signing the contract and being 100% sure the accommodation exists and is for rent.
  • If you notice any suspicious advertisements or if you become a victim of a scam, please be sure to report this to the local police.

If you have doubts about an advertisement, consult Kotatgent or your education institution.