Renter Beware

by February 28, 2013 • 4 comments

It is a common occurance as of late to get a phone call much like this…. “Hey I saw your rental listing and see that we can get a 4 bedroom house for monthly rent of 900.00” Is that really the real deal???? Well thankfully this wise person called us before they sent their money via Western Union to an overseas mystery scammer. Rental scams are on the rise and there is reason to believe ย that this trend will continue with the bulk of our business being done via internet.

As a Broker it is quite common that scam artist will copy our listings and put a false number to call and mimic a real rental listing. Craigs List is not the only avenue these criminals are using to pull the wool over our eyes, there are inacurrate listings found now on Trulia and Zilow as well.

The story lines follow the same theme…. the renter is typically overseas and most times on a mission trip so they want someone to live in their home for a cheap price. The price is usually much lower than the going rate and the money needs to come via cashiers check or western union wire.

The best way to protect yourself is to call a trusted local Real Estate agent or Rental company to verify your suspicions. I get calls almost weekly from would be victims and thankful that they have reached out to me. Also realize if you see a rock bottom rental price in a high priced neighborhood it may just be, “Too good to be true”

Thanks for letting us share our selves with you each week on Pcbdaily!!! Please remember, “The only people we have to get even with are those that have helped us”

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1 Cathy March 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Thank you Karen…..Many years ago I never gave it a thought to doubt the person I emailed or spoke to on the telephone might not be who they claim to be. I would do just as many others…..send the check to rent the unit. In the last few years I have read so much I have become not as trusting. It’s terrible we have to be this way….good suffers for the bad in this world. I would also recommend that you place a call to the property office (if it’s a large resort) and speak to the head of the Homeowners Association. They will be most happy to tell you if indeed the person you are renting from actually owns the condo you are about to rent. Remember once you send your check off, it’s gone & if it’s to a person who is a scam artist it is really GONE!
Like Karen mentioned, if a deal sounds way to good to be true….it usually is!
Take care, think smart.
Cathy/Tennessee ๐Ÿ™‚

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2 Karen Smith March 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Cathy,
I got a very sad call from a girl who probably wished she had read the article!!! She put 1500 into an account of a scam artist from Craigs List. Non only is she out her money but she has no vacation now. I made her promise that she would call me to check it out next time!!!

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3 Cathy March 5, 2013 at 9:27 am

Bless her heart…..I am so sorry to hear this. I have never even thought of looking on Craigs list for a vacation rental. I have in the past sold furniture on this list ….it gives you a stern warning at the beginning about scams and really warms people how to handle transactions. I mainly use VRBO, I’ve never encountered any problems with that website. It’s terrible to say but, nowadays we must be one step ahead of crooks……I sometimes think television educates these people far too much! ๐Ÿ™
I will say it is very nice of you to ask people to call you for advice or to check out an owner.
You are a very nice lady. ๐Ÿ™‚

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4 Karen Smith March 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Just got another call from a kid from Virginia that just got had!!!! They drove 12 hours and are trying to check into a place that does not exist!!! I am sure they do not have money to find another spot this time of night. It is almost midnight and they are just finding out that they are a victim of another craigs list scam!!!

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