RENTAL SCAM WARNING !!! PLEASE READ AND PASS ON!!!

There is a continued rental scam going on accross the USA, and it could affect you as an agent and all potential tenants

The problem is that people both in this country and other countries are trying to rent out houses that do not belong to them. The find vacant homes, list them online in such places as Craiglist and offer them for less than market rent to attract more potential victims

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR: First thing is if anyone asks you to wire money, it is a red flag. If you are being asked to rent a house without being able to see it. If anyone says they are renting it for soemone and they are not licensed by the Real Estate commission in that state.
If anyone asks you to leave money in the mailbox and pick up the keys the next day.
If there is a "for sale" sign, contact the listing agent to check if the house is or is not for rent. You can easily check the who the owner of the house is with the assessors office in the town or city the house is located in, most have online databases.

REMEMBER IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABILY IS...

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS, QUESTIONS OR EXPERIENCES WITH THIS SCAM.

Updated August 8, 2010

Blog Written by:

Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Realty Group

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August 08 2010 - Manchester
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Profile picture for sunnyview
People can get more information on rental scams here or directly from the FTC here.
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August 08 2010
Yes--this DOES happen, particularly if you advertise on sites such as Craig's List--I had one of my ads copied, with a flase email address which used MY NAME as a respond-to address, and I had potential renters showing up at my $110/M house looking for $850/M rental...

CAVEAT EMPTOR: LET THE BUYER BEWARE
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August 12 2010

I also had this happen recently with one of my listings.  I posted the listing For Sale on Craig's List and my seller suddenly had strange cars driving by constantly.  This listing was copied as a "for Lease" listing on Craig's list.  People started to knock on my sellers door which was very unnerving.  The part that really alarmed us is that this scammer made a email address using the current owners legal name.   I had numerous calls requesting information and had this listing removed over and over before this stopped.  A month later the scam continued on other sites.  This was very disturbing and scary for the seller.  We reported this to each site and also to an online investigation company.

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August 13 2010
Hi Scott
Ditto - just had this happen to a vacant listing of mine - rental was $1400 - on Craigslist it said $600!  - one poor young woman in Fl thought she had hit the lottery she was so excited by that low price. The "owner" kept pushing her to wire money via Western Union.
She ultimately wound up contacting my office (sign was in the window) and I spoke to her. What disturbed me the most is that the person (who said he was disabled, and out of state, so he couldn't show her the home) - told people to go there and PEEK in the windows! That was scary to me.
Besides reporting it to Craigslist - I also reported it to the local police.
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August 14 2010
 
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RENTAL SCAM WARNING !!! PLEASE READ AND PASS ON!!!
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August 14 2010 | 4 answers
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