Is Roomster a Scam?

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Thinking of using Roomster for housing solutions? Navigate our in-depth analysis. Is Roomster a scam site or a genuine roommate finder?

is roomster a scam
Scam Grade:
C-
C Grade: This business has mixed feedback in scam report sources, including some concerning complaints and reviews. Proceed with caution and carefully research before engaging.

What’s The Background of Roomster?

Roomster is a platform founded in New York by Jonathan Martinez, John Shriber, and Roman Zaks. The company, Roomster Corp, operates through its website, roomster.com. The primary goal of Roomster is to provide a platform for people seeking rooms and roommates. Being in the industry for quite some time, it is essential to understand the company’s legitimacy.

Despite being a legitimate company, Roomster has faced some troubling allegations in recent years. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and six states filed a lawsuit against Roomster in 2022, accusing them of using fake listings and reviews. This resulted in customers losing over $27 million.

It’s essential to consider user reviews and experiences when evaluating the legitimacy of any platform. Roomster has mixed reviews, with some customers finding them helpful while others had to deal with fake listings and unresponsive support.

Some of the key points about the company’s background include:

  • Founded in New York
  • Co-founders: Jonathan Martinez, John Shriber, and Roman Zaks
  • Roommate and room rental platform
  • FTC and six states lawsuit for fake reviews and listings

We must also take note of Roomster’s warnings regarding potential scammers who send spoof emails designed to look like they are from Roomster. This indicates that the company is aware of the issues and is working to combat scamming attempts related to its platform.

We have provided a brief overview of Roomster’s background, focusing on its location, founders, business model, and recent controversies. It’s important to stay vigilant when using any online platform and carefully evaluate the legitimacy of listings, reviews, and information provided.

Why Do People Think Roomster is a Scam?

We have discovered several reasons why people might consider Roomster a scam. To help you better understand these concerns, we’ve compiled the main complaints and issues here.

First and foremost, there have been reports of fake reviews posted by the company itself. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a consumer alert stating that Roomster misled customers about listings by posting fake reviews. This dishonest behavior raises suspicion about the company’s credibility.

Another concern is related to fake listings on their platform. Some users have reported encountering false or misleading listings, making it difficult to discern genuine offers from scams. Complaints include discovering that the listed property is unavailable or doesn’t match the description provided on Roomster.

Many customers have also claimed that Roomster uses fake positive reviews to boost their ratings and mislead potential users. This dishonest practice further expands the lack of transparency within the company and creates more uncertainty about its services.

Now, let’s take a closer look at some examples of fraudulent activities linked to Roomster:

  1. Charging users without a clear explanation or justification
  2. Spoof emails claiming to be from Roomster
  3. Scammers using the platform to target unsuspecting users

The presence of scams on Roomster’s platform is undeniable. In some cases, fraudsters demanded money for non-existent rooms or to cover unexpected maintenance fees. Roomster has even published a warning on their help center mentioning a scam involving spoof emails that prompt users to send money to book a room. This type of activity causes significant harm to the platform’s reputation and the trust users have in its services.

The main reasons why people might think Roomster is a scam are:

  • Fake reviews posted by the company
  • Fake positive reviews aimed at misleading potential customers
  • False or deceptive listings on their platform
  • Fraudulent activities involving charging customers without justification
  • Scammers target users through spoof emails and inaccurate listings

By staying up-to-date on the latest Roomster situation, we aim to inform our readers about the potential risks and challenges associated with using their services. Remember, we aim to provide the most accurate information to help you make the best possible decision.

What Roomster Controversies or Lawsuits Exist, if Any?

In recent news, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and six states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Illinois, and New York, have filed a lawsuit against Roomster and its owners. The allegations against the rental listing platform include duping consumers seeking affordable housing by paying for fake reviews and charging for access to phony listings.

The lawsuit, filed by the FTC and attorneys general from the involved states, specifically accuses Roomster’s executives, John Shriber and Roman Zaks, of targeting their fraud scheme toward students, lower-income individuals, and other vulnerable consumers. The allegations claim that the company violated the False Advertising Law and the Unfair Competition Law by promoting Roomster through fake online reviews in the Apple and Google app stores (source: CBS News).

Despite these allegations, Roomster denies all charges the FTC and the states brought forth. The company claims that it has helped millions of consumers over nearly 20 years find suitable rooming solutions and will defend itself in the lawsuit.

In addition to the actions taken by the FTC, some of the attorneys involved in the case have secured significant civil penalties from other individuals associated with Roomster. For example, New York Attorney General Letitia James secured a $100,000 settlement from one person involved in the alleged deceptive practices. The FTC investigation and subsequent lawsuits have brought considerable attention to Roomster’s rules, with many consumer advocates closely monitoring the case.

The controversies and lawsuits surrounding Roomster, here are the key points:

  • The FTC and six states have filed a lawsuit against Roomster and its owners.
  • Allegations include duping consumers by paying for fake reviews and charging for access to phony listings.
  • Roomster denies all charges and plans to defend itself in court.
  • Civil penalties have been secured by some attorneys general, including a $100,000 settlement in New York.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information unfolds about Roomster’s legal battles and controversies.

What Did We Find In Our Research of Roomster?

During our investigation into Roomster, we found several critical pieces of information that helped us determine its legitimacy as a platform for housing and roommate searches. Here are the essential findings from our research:

  1. Customer Reviews: We found mixed reactions in user reviews of Roomster. Some customers reported having positive experiences while using the platform to find a place to live, whereas others complained about encountering scams or misleading listings.
  2. Legal Issues: According to the FTC’s lawsuit, Roomster allegedly posted fake positive reviews and falsely claimed its listings’ authenticity and availability. Roomster has settled a multi-million dollar deal over these issues. Furthermore, they have been accused of collaborating with AppWinn, which allegedly supplied thousands of fake reviews.
  3. Verified Listings: Although Roomster claims to have verified listings, several users reported experiencing scams or fraudulent listings. It is essential to exercise caution when using this platform.

To better understand Roomster’s trustworthiness as an online marketplace, we examined various factors:

  • Platform Availability: Roomster is available in over 192 countries, supporting 18 languages, which indicates its widespread reach.
  • User Accessibility: The platform is compatible with the Apple App Store and Google Play, making it user-friendly for customers using different devices.
  • Customer Service: We could not find substantial information regarding Roomster’s customer service responsiveness or effectiveness. This lack of data points could be a concern for users encountering issues when using the service.

Our research revealed that Roomster has both positive aspects and drawbacks. While it operates as an online marketplace for housing and roommate searches, legal issues and mixed user reviews show an unreliable reputation. Users should exercise caution when utilizing Roomster’s services and verify listings independently to ensure their trustworthiness.

What Is The Company’s Scam Grade for Roomster?

Based on our extensive research and careful evaluation, we have determined Roomster’s scam grade. First, let’s discuss the positive aspects of the platform. Roomster has a beautiful and easy-to-use interface, which includes powerful maps and filters. Furthermore, the website offers PayPal as a payment option, which can enhance user experience and security.

However, there are some red flags that we need to address. Unfortunately, most of the listings on Roomster are not active. This means users may be wasting time browsing non-existent rooms or properties. Moreover, the platform has been known to harbor scammers who abuse the website without any control by Roomster. This lack of oversight raises questions about the site’s integrity.

Additionally, the platform has been involved in questionable marketing tactics. For example, Roomster affiliates have used deceptive methods on Craigslist to promote their services. This and automatic subscription upgrades that aren’t obvious during sign-u further damage the company’s credibility.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has accused Roomster of posting fake reviews and misleading customers about their listings. This further erodes trust in the platform and highlights the lack of transparency on Roomster.

User reviews on sites like Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau are mixed, with some users experiencing positive results while others claim the platform is a waste of money and time.

Here are the pros and cons of Roomster:

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface with maps and filters
  • PayPal as a payment option

Cons:

  • Inactive listings
  • Lack of control over scammers
  • Questionable marketing tactics and automatic subscription upgrades
  • History of posting fake reviews as per FTCC. Considering all these factors, we have assigned Roomster a scam grade of C-. While the platform may have some redeeming qualities, the overall integrity and transparency issues outweigh them significantly.
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