Avoid scams and fake offers

Some people try to take advantage of the high demand for housing and aim to scam you with a fake offer. On this page you can find more info on how to recognise a scam, and which safety measures to take into account when you search for housing online.

Red flags

  • Too good to be true

    The room offered to you seems very cheap and/or central. The advertiser may be very flexible regarding the start of rent, furnishing and other requests. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is!

  • Poor communication

    The advertiser seems overly nice, ignores your questions, gives no clear answers and/or uses text-like sentences. They may also ask you to continue conversation outside the (paid) platform. 

  • Fake information

    Scammers usually use photos from other ads, a stolen identity, and standard rental contracts. They may first pose as a current tenant to seem reliable. 

  • They operate from abroad

    Scammers usually post in English on platforms and social media, they usually don't speak Dutch, do not live in the Netherlands and have a foreign bank account

  • No viewing option

    Scammers usually will not be able to show you the room in person or via live video for various reasons

  • Requests for payment

    Scammers will pressure you to transfer money, often via anonymous money transferring services, before a viewing. They may say that if you wait with a payment they will offer the room to someone else.

Do's and don'ts


  • Know what to expect

    Read up on the average costs for housing and the competitive viewing system. If you know what to expect of the Dutch student housing market this can help you recognise offers that are too good to be true. 

    Research the offer

    Try to verify that the agency, the address, the photographs, and landlord are legitimate. When in doubt, don't take the risk.

  • Arrange a viewing

    Set up a meeting and view the room in person or via video chat. If you do not live too far away you could consider coming to the Netherlands before the start of the semester so you can attend viewings in person. 

    Be careful on social media

    Tenants often search for new housemates on social media. Scammers take advantage of this, and are especially active in housing search groups on social media like Facebook. Scammers may pose as an existing tenant or landlord.


  • Don't make unsecure payments!

    If you intend to enter into an agreement with a private person, we advise you not to make any unsecure payments in advance. If you are still looking to transfer advanced payments, know that some platforms such as Kamernet offer a secured payment service. This way your money is kept safe on a server, until after you have received the key. 

    Don't communicate outside the platform

    If you use a platform like airbnb, Kamernet or HousingAnywhere, make sure you do not enter into communication with the advertiser outside the platform. 

  • Don't share your personal data

    When you respond to an ad, don't share personal documents like copies of your passport or bank statements and credit card numbers. If you do intend to send documentation be aware of the risks of identity theft and fraud. Also know that the Dutch Government offers an app that allows you to watermark documents and black out personal information (App store / Play Store). 

Need advice?

Do not hesitate to contact us for advice if you are in doubt about the reliability of an offer.

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