Applying for a rental shouldn’t put your identity at risk. Find out how to add an extra level of protection.
Your Social Security card is tucked away for safekeeping, and you’d never willingly hand over your private information to a suspicious caller. You’re cautious about online transactions and go extra lengths to protect yourself from cyber thieves. But not everyone is as diligent about protecting your private information as you are.
Whether you’re renting an apartment in Austin, TX, or Seattle, WA, sensitive financial information — such as your Social Security number, date of birth, and previous addresses — is often collected together on one application. This information that landlords use to vet rental candidates is the same information that identity thieves need to make you their next victim. Scary, huh?
There’s no need to live in fear. Just be extra cautious, and know how to protect yourself with these tips so you don’t exchange your financial security for the rental of your dreams.
If you don’t trust your soon-to-be landlord to protect your privacy and take care of your sensitive information, do you really expect them to be on the up-and-up when it comes to keeping your apartment in good condition? Even if your landlord gives you confidence, ultimately, no one will be as dedicated to protecting your identity as you are. Pay attention to any rental red flags, ask the right questions, and walk away if you’re concerned your finances could be compromised at some point in the future.