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Warning! Watch out for this new scam for rentals in Italy

Posted on August 20th, 2023

by Expat Living in Rome

We were recently contacted by an expat working at IFAD for help with a rental scam. It is the first time that we have heard about this kind of con. We would like to warn our community to prevent others from falling into this situation.

I was looking for an apartment and found an announcement on subito.com. communicated with the advertiser through subito.com and they responded. We fixed a date to visit the apartment in person, and I went with my family. We liked the apartment and decided to rent it. We arranged another appointment to sign the contract.

We met at the apartment we were interested in renting and signed the contract. We took photos of the apartment and the person signing the contract in the apartment. We also took a photo of their national ID card and bank details, etc.

To confirm the booking, we sent an advance deposit of two months’ rent through the banking channel. We were set and agreed to move in on July 1st. However, on that day, the person did not show up, and the phone number was turned off. We were unable to reach the owner again.

The next working day, I went to the police station and reported the incident with the support of my colleague. After that, I did not receive any further communication from the police.

For those looking to rent in Italy, please consider using an agency.  Read this blog to get more info on renting in Italy.


Here are some common red flags for scam rentals in Italy:

Sounds too good to be true.

The landlord asks to send money to a non-Italian bank account or to their lawyer.

High-security deposit requested upfront before seeing the rental or signing a contract.

The owner wants to make a deal before having all your information and verifying your details.

The scammer claims not to be in Italy and says she/he will send you the keys by mail.

When looking at the apartment photos; often, the windows are not visible in the images or the window blinds are down, and there is no way to see the outdoors or determine the location.

In their Facebook profile or WhatsApp photo, they often use photos of elderly people or individuals who hide their faces with sunglasses and filters.

Pressure to rent quickly due to other interested renters.

The scammer may get offended and insult you if you question their legitimacy.

How can you help the Expat community in Italy?

Finding housing in Rome is becoming increasingly challenging. If you are leaving a room or apartment, please send us an email at [email protected] and share the property owner’s information with us. We receive many requests via email.

If you need assistance verifying a rental in Italy, please contact our legal team at [email protected] We provide assistance throughout Italy!

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