Safety and Fraud Prevention

The convenience of online shopping comes with a higher risk of fraud and scams. Before disclosing any personal information or sending any payment, you should always exercise extreme caution and vigilance. We work hard to provide our users with the most up-to-date and comprehensive database of product and service listings, but fraudsters are also attempting to scam you out of your hard-earned cash. We can take measures to make our online marketplaces as secure as possible if we work together. Please be aware that we do not participate in any rental transactions and cannot provide a refund if you are defrauded. While we work around the clock to ensure that you have a positive experience using our site, we cannot guarantee that it is free of all false or fraudulent listings.

What We Do

Warn users when they are viewing the listing details for listings that have not yet been verified. Immediately review and remove listings that are reported as suspicious, if appropriate. Fully and transparently support law enforcement investigations of listings fraud. Independently investigating suspicious and fraudulent listings and pursuing legal action was proper.

What We Ask You to Do

Look out for scams. Here are some of the most common red flags:

Products and services offered below market. Scammers know that innocent buyers will be less cautious if they are motivated to close quickly on a deal so they don’t lose out on something too good to be true.

Request to wire money. Legitimate landlords do not ask renters to wire money to any account, especially an account located abroad. Nor do they ask for money from Western Union, MoneyGram, or other money transfer services.

Request to use another listing service or escrow account to transfer money. Scammers may impersonate legitimate listing services, like AirBnB or HomeAway, or request that money is sent to an escrow account to make renters believe they are dealing with a legitimate entity.

The claim of affiliation with us. Scammers may impersonate to make it seem like we participate in the lease transaction or transfer of funds. We do not participate in any transactions between landlords and renters, and we will never ask you for money to use our site or any of our services.

Can’t or won’t meet in person. For whatever reason, the landlord/agent refuses to meet you in person at the property. They may even send you an access code to unlock an electronic lockbox to gain entry by yourself to the house, condo, or apartment you are looking to rent.

Report scams immediately and with as much detail as possible (including copies of the communications with the scammer and money transfer details) to:

Us by marking the listing as Suspicious on the site and emailing [email protected]

If you sent money by Western Union or Money Gram, those vendors’ customer service departments might be able to stop the transfer:
  • Western Union Complaint Procedure
  • MoneyGram Complaint Procedure
  • Nevertheless, please take the same common-sense precautions online as you would offline. When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to:
  • Insist on a public meeting location, such as a café, bank, or shopping mall.
  • Do not hold meetings in remote locations or invite strangers into your home.
  • Be especially cautious when purchasing or selling expensive items.
  • Inform a friend or family member of your destination.
  • If you have a cell phone, bring it along.
  • Consider bringing a friend with you.
  • Utilize your intuition.
These straightforward precautions make byBench safer for everyone.
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