Common warning signs of scams or fraud include someone asking you to send money via Western Union, Moneygram, or PrePaided Visa card. Other red flags include landlords who insist on you sending money urgently - either before you have had time to explore the property or before they receive your rental application. It should also be a concern if the landlord or rental agent refuses share their information with you or refuses to meet with you in person.
For your protection, get everything in writing. This includes payment receipts, lease agreements, and any promises from the landlord. Do not give out personal and secure banking information over the phone or send any money without properly vetting a property. Finally, take photos of your unit on the day you move-in and document the condition of the apartment on a "move-in checklist form," especially if you provided a security deposit.