Avoiding Housing Scams in Travel Healthcare · The Gypsy Nurse

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By AB Staffing Solutions

October 30, 2023

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Avoiding Housing Scams in Travel Healthcare

AB Staffing Solutions provided this article.

We asked our Housing Department about avoiding housing scams in travel healthcare, and the one commonality is to trust your own instincts. If it doesn’t seem right, like a landlord is asking to be paid via Venmo or Zelle or asking for money before a lease is signed, then don’t sign anything. Call your housing specialist for guidance; this is a sign of a scam. As with any agreement, be sure to read the terms of your lease, ask questions, and then sign and send money. If you’re not sure, don’t move ahead.

avoiding housing scams

We understand that housing in certain areas of the country can be challenging, like in rural areas. Our team does their best to support your housing search and help you find a safe, suitable place for you, your pets, and your loved ones.

Common Signs of Housing Scams

As you’re heading to a new location, we encourage you to do your research about the area, including housing options. Common signs of housing scams include asking for a wire transfer or other payment prior to signing a lease, asking for money to be sent a lease and zero online reviews. No reviews don’t necessarily mean a scam, but if there have never been other renters, it might be. It’s important to be cautious.

Rather than heading to the internet and clicking the first links that appear, find reliable sources for apartments and other housing.

  • Check with your housing specialist because they may have experience finding housing where you are going and have recommendations of resources and neighborhoods where other travelers have stayed.
  • Find Facebook groups for travel nurses or housing for travel nurses; search in the group for the place where you are moving and see what people have to say about their experience.
  • Secure housing before heading to your new job; you need a place to rest when you’re not working.

DOs for Avoiding Housing Scams

We always want you to be safe and secure and have a plan when you arrive at your new location. Here are things to do to ensure this happens.

avoid housing scams
  • Check social media accounts for the person with whom you are interacting. If the account is less than two years old and/or changes the profile photo often, this could be a scammer.
  • Go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t sign the lease. If they want to do a handshake deal, run; you don’t want to be caught in a bad situation before you start your assignment.
  • Be aware of landlords who are scammers when they say things like they need a renter as soon as possible. They can’t meet you because they are traveling or they have poor grammar.
  • Insist on a receipt/invoice of payment. Not only does this create a paper trail, but it is good to have for your records and taxes.
  • Wait to put a deposit down/send money until you have been fully cleared to start working. Things can always change.
  • When sending money, verify the payment method site. Look for “https” or check for the closed lock symbol at the beginning of the URL. That means the website is secure.
  • Look at reviews from the listing. If you are looking on sites like Airbnb, always read what past tenants say about the landlord.
  • Be aware of the rent if it is lower than the average rate for the area.
  • Report scammers to local authorities and our housing department if you encounter them.

DON’Ts for Avoiding Housing Scams

It is exciting to be working as a travel nurse, moving from place to place every few months, but it is important to always be aware of the possibility that someone doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Here’s what to avoid.

  • Request to wire money, especially before signing a lease.
  • Communicating with a prospective landlord exclusively via direct messages or WhatsApp. They should have an email and phone number where you can contact them to prove they are real and the opportunity is legitimate.
  • Give out personal information until you are positive it is a legitimate housing offer.
  • Find housing on Craigslist. We have heard of multiple people getting scammed on Craigslist. Just avoid it.
  • Skim the lease agreement. Read in detail and ask questions to ensure you understand the terms, conditions, and responsibilities are clearly outlined before you sign.

We recommend these trusted resources for finding housing as a travel nurse:

Your Recruiter and Housing Specialist are here for you. Trust your instincts. If a housing option doesn’t feel right, just say no and keep looking. We understand that securing safe housing is a crucial part of your travel healthcare journey, which is why we encourage all our travelers to utilize the resources in this article to avoid housing scams.

Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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