Let op! Internationals most vulnerable to rental scams in the Netherlands, helpdesk finds

Finding a place to live in the Netherlands is no joke. The Dutch housing shortage makes it perhaps the biggest challenge of moving to the Netherlands and months of unfruitful search leaves people, well, a tad bit desperate.

Unfortunately, scammers are well-aware of that — and not shy to target internationals.

With fake advertisements, outrageous deposits, and false IDs they extort thousands of euros from international students, expats, and even Dutchies.

It’s such as big problem that, earlier this month, the Public Prosecution Service and the Fraud Helpdesk began a campaign to warn people against housing scams, reports the NOS.

Helpdesk often not involved with internationals

The Dutch Fraud Helpdesk, which helps victims of housing fraud navigate the unfortunate situation, receives about 200 reports a year. However, they suspect this is only the tip of the iceberg — many cases aren’t even reported.

Especially international cases are likely to be excluded from the Helpdesk’s numbers. “They probably don’t know where to find us,” a spokesperson says.

READ MORE | Expats and international students: How to not get scammed in the Netherlands

It seems that internationals in particular are victims of rental fraud and that indeed we’re also more vulnerable to it. Moving to a different country can be overwhelming and you want a place to live — so is it really surprising?

Having to, for example, organise your housing from abroad makes it difficult to verify the identity of your potential landlord but luckily there are a number of red flags to look out for when navigating the Dutch renting market.

What’s your experience with the Dutch rental market? And have you ever been in contact with the Fraud Helpdesk? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Jelle Jaspar/Supplied

Christine Stein Hededam 🇩🇰
A Dane with a special place in her heart for Minnesota, Christine is now falling in love with everything Dutch. Between finishing her bachelor’s degree, learning Dutch, and doing yoga teacher training, you will find her wandering about the Hague. Always up for visiting new places, she loves to explore the Netherlands with friends and takes pride in scoping out cute cafés (wherein to discuss books, big plans, and food).

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