Roomster Corp was founded in 2003 and incorporated later that year. The company is allegedly based out of New York, New York. The company runs a roommate finder and roommate search service. It claims to have verified roommates and rooms for rent. Sadly, a lot of people have been calling Roomster a scam website. So, is it a site full of scams or a scam website? We’ll try to find out.
The unique thing about Roomster is that the website offers rooms in more than 192 countries. And, its service is available in 18 languages. Users can find rooms in Tokyo, Moscow, Istanbul, Berlin, London, Rome, Singapore, and elsewhere. Being able to find a room anywhere in the world is exciting. But, you have to wonder if everything is kosher. Can I really find a room in Russia for $150 a month?
Then, you see that the user has been verified and you’re sure that you’re dealing with a truthful individual.
What does it mean to be verified by Roomster? Roomster allows users to verify their identity using a handful of options including social media, email, phone, and identification. How hard is it to identify your email with Roomster? As long as you have a throwaway email address, you can get verified in a few seconds. A phone number isn’t a big deal either.
With so many voice-over-IP services, scammers can easily verify a phone number with Roomster to gain more credence with users. And then, there is the option of verifying your identity. This is where things get a bit tricky.
Roomster ID Verification
Whether you’re renting a room or looking for one, you’ll likely want to verify your identity. What does this entail? The Roomster process is a bit frightening. The verification process requires the user to pay nearly $15 and send a scanned picture of their identification. Why would Roomster need to take $15 to verify someone’s ID? It is scary enough to send a picture of your ID to anyone. Being forced to pay makes the process even worse.
This has led to a lot of BBB complaints against Roomster. Many users were asked to verify their ID and submit their credit card information. They claim they did not know they were going to be charged $15 for the verification. One BBB complaint says “A charge is pending on my account while homeless due to Covid for some ID I did not even buy”.
Furthermore, it has come to our attention that some of the rooms posted on Roomster are fake. Unfortunately, scammers are preying on people looking to rent property around the world. One customer says he was trying to rent a room and send the supposed landlord $700. He was supposed to receive the key via FedEx. While waiting for it to arrive, the supposed landlord pressured the customer to send $700 more. As it turns out, the FedEx tracking number was bogus and the key never arrived.
Another claims to have paid $300 for a house deposit for a house that didn’t exist. Others are not happy about being charged $9.99 for a subscription. One user, Sandra, says she was in a pinch and needed to find a room as soon as possible. She met Joel through Roomster and give him $100 to obtain keys. Joel made a lot of excuses and couldn’t get the keys.
Sandra even waited at the so called location for Joel but he never brought the keys to her. Today, he no longer answers his phone so she has lost $100 for nothing.
Another big problem with Roomster is the affiliation system. Affiliates are paid to promote Roomster. When someone sends a lead to Roomster, they’ll get paid for it. Unfortunately, Roomster has created a problem for itself by accepting affiliates because affiliates will do anything to make a quick buck. Many have been posting properties on Craigslist and sending respondents to Roomster.
It has become so bad that Roomster CEO, John Shriber, has been forced to address the matter. Also, the site now says it will not do any business with affiliates who post on Craigslist and that they will not accept or pay for leads that come from Craiglist.
Should You Use Roomster To Find A Room?
Honestly, no. No, you shouldn’t. There are better ways to find a room. In fact, you should be able to find a room without paying to verify your identity. Furthermore, you may run into a scam when using this website. It is best to use other sources to find a room to rent. Don’t take our word for it. Do your own research and check reviews for Roomster so you can see that the site isn’t worth the headache.