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I am Italian but I live in France, and I need to move to US. I am searching for an apartment in Boston and apparently I found a good one that I like. I did a Skype interview with the other flatmates and they seem nice (I added her on Facebook too).

She asked me to pay at least the first month rent by the 1st of January (I will move there the 10th of January). I understood that this is quite normal in US. She asked me to send the money over Paypal. I could do that but I wanted your opinion whether you think is safe or not to do it.

Let's look at the worst case, what does it happen if she steals money from me? (I don't think it will happen but I like to think about the worst case :) )

Is there a better/cheaper method to send money (which is always reliable)?

Thanks a lot for the help.

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PayPal is generally a pretty safe way to send money, because not only is there a money trail, but PayPal has pretty good fraud and buyer protection. Furthermore, if you fund your PayPal account with a credit card, then you get the additional protection provided by your credit card bank too.

If you use PayPal, there isn't really a way for her to take more money from you (unless she knows your PayPal username and password); the worst case scenario is she can take the money you give her and run off with it (and not rent you an apartment).

Perhaps it would be fair to offer that you'll pay a portion of the rent in advance, and the rest once you arrive in person and can verify the apartment is as advertised.

Also, PayPal has the concept of a Verified Account. This doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't trust someone who isn't verified, but if they are verified, that may help you feel more comfortable with the arrangement.

  • Yeah, that is what I was saying as worst case. What happens if she takes the money and disappear? Could I sue her or something like that? Or can I ask paypal for a refund? Thanks – kalmanIsAGameChanger Dec 8 '16 at 17:02
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    You could contact PayPal fraud department and they would help you. You could also initiate a chargeback through both PayPal and your credit card (if CC is the funding source.) I suppose you could sue and/or get police involved too, but if she really takes the money and runs, then it's probably the case that you don't even know her real name. – TTT Dec 8 '16 at 17:42
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    It's certainly not any less safe than sending her a check or money order, in any event. – Joe Dec 8 '16 at 21:14

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