Profile picture for user008561

Rental Owner: 8418 Lookout Mountain Ave is asking me to send him money for the keys

[owner name removed by Zillow moderator] says he is the owner of 8418 Lookout Mountain Ave. His cell # is 424 204-5285. He flew to England for a new job. His rental is not listed & he doesn't have anyone to show me the property. In order to get the keys he says I need to send him money but he says he can't afford to. I said if you and your wife can afford to fly to England you can afford to send the keys. He has my phone number & email address so he can send me pictures.  There is only one picture on Zillow's listing.  
  • September 02 2012 - Los Angeles
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Answers (7)

Profile picture for sunnyview
Thanks for the update Ms. Obagi. Unfortunately, this type of rental scam is very common online. Anytime that someone claiming to be the owner/landlord is willing to send keys for deposits red flags should be popping up. If the owner claims to be out of the country, it is almost ALWAYS a scam.

Owners names are public record so the fact a scammer uses the correct owner name is no guarantee that they are really the owner of the property. 

Zillow has a page on avoiding scams that might be useful, but as with avoiding any scam common sense is your best defense. You can also use the "edit" button on the home page to "report problem with listing" to alert Zillow and they will remove reported scams ASAP.
  • September 04 2012
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My name is Silvia Obagi and I'm a real estate attorney and broker with Sotheby's International Realty.  The sale and lease listing at 8418 Lookout Mountain Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046 is my listing and the owner [name removed by Zillow moderator] is my client.  The house was being offered for sale OR for lease.  You can see the actual listing at www.8418lookoutmountain.com  The actual owner has nothing to do with the fraudulent post giving a cell phone number, asking for money, and stating he's flying to England.  That is clearly a scam by someone who is unrelated to the property and the listing.  Please do not call that cell phone number or send any money.  Thank you.  

Silvia Obagi
JD | Broker | Realtor®
Sotheby's International Realty
11911 San Vicente Blvd.
Brentwood, California 90049
DRE #: 1849673
[deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy]
  • September 04 2012
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It's certainly interesting that a home that is for sale and is pending would somehow also be for rent. That's a heck of a trick.
  • September 02 2012
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Profile picture for sunnyview
This is a scam and the owner has other scams running on the internet in other areas from what I see on Google under that phone number 424-204-5285 . Do NOT send him money, do NOT give him your personal information and do NOT believe that any owner of an 800K house would ever rent their home to a renter sight unseen and credit unrun.

Run the other way and you have done a great thing by posting his email and the address here on Zillow. Anyone else who is tempted to deal with him may be saved with a simple google search of his name or phone.
  • September 02 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Here's a link to Zillow's FAQ on scams and internet fraud.   Sounds like you've bumped into a typical one.  Please report it to Zillow so they can zap it and block the slime.

  • September 02 2012
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Profile picture for Gabilan Properties
And you are thinking of sending him money? I hope you don't care about that money because it will soon be Gregory Stewart's and he will probably take a jaunt around the English seaside courtesy of you.

This is a scam! Don't fall for it.

If a landlord or property manager can't meet you at the property prior to exchanging funds, it will be almost always a plan to part you with your money.

Folks, you have to be careful out there.
  • September 02 2012
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Profile picture for Cindy Quinton
I truly don't understand why people don't recognize a scam instantly.

It is a scam. Period. 

Don't send money. If the owner (or the owner's agent) can't meet you there at the property, and show you around, it is a scam. Period.
  • September 02 2012
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