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On-line Rental Scams

This is a warning of an online rental scam circulating in the area. In these scams, rental property is advertised (usually at low costs) on online classified sites. The ads use photos and descriptions of the property, taken from legitimate ads. The scammer will pretend to be a landlord, property manager or real estate agent and will respond to emails and calls from prospective tenants. The scammer usually says that they are out of the country or unable to meet you at the property. Instead they propose to meet off site, to exchange keys or sign a tenancy agreement or they request rental deposits be made by wire transfer. Victims often only learn they have been deceived when they show up at a property and find it is already occupied. Things to watch for in such listings include claims of urgency, such as “must sell/rent now,” unavailable property owners who request money transfers, and/or rental fees that are too good to be true. 

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