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Safety tips for room seekers

As with any kind of online dealing, it’s important to be careful when you’re looking for a flatshare. Here are our top tips to help you stay safe at every stage of your search:

Responding to ads

Safety at viewings

Before handing over money

Never pay anything via Western Union or another anonymous money transfer system. We’ve got more info about this particular scam here.

What we do to protect you

One of the things we’re proudest of at SpareRoom is also one of the things we don’t shout about as much as we should – our moderation team.

At SpareRoom we monitor and double check every single ad posted to stop fraudsters in their tracks. We have both manual and automated systems in place that will pick up the majority of attempted scams – preventing scammers from sending messages or placing ads. As a result, most flatshares created on our site are totally legitimate – with great landlords and agents who play by the rules.

But occasionally things do slip through the net. Our users will usually let us know immediately so that we can remove the offender and warn other users of their activities.

One simple security measure we’ve introduced is telling all landlords and agents to be prepared to show you their ID before you hand over any money. The same applies to current flatmates if they’re taking the deposit from you. Don’t be afraid to ask and feel free to note their name down too.

Update October 2017:

We've introduced new guidelines for viewings. We're now asking all landlords and agents to be prepared to show you ID before you hand over any money, including a deposit. The same applies to current flatmates if they're the ones taking the deposit. We're also asking people to let you note down their name.

Ask to see some ID before you hand over any money - a driving licence or passport are the best forms of proof - and don't be afraid to ask if they don't offer.

Don't forget there's a 'report this ad' link on every ad on SpareRoom. If you're not sure about something you can ask us to have a look or contact us for help.

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