Profile picture for user0584361

There is an ad for a rental that I think might be a scam. The owner said he is not in this country,

  • July 02 2012 - Ballard
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Answers (5)

Profile picture for Steven Ard
I have a listing for sale that I placed on a craigs list. Someone in Africa took the pictures from my listing and placed a add in the rental section. He also used online public records to find the owners name and created an email adress in the owners name. When emailed, he claimed to be doing missionary work in Africa for the next couple of years. I notified the local sheriff department. It is a big scam that involves thousands of homes across the country.
  • July 02 2012
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Beth is absolutely right, the only fool proof method of avoiding scams is meeting with the individual at the house. Another good rule of thumb is if it is to good to be true, or involves any strange arrangements, it is probably a scam.

Most scams either ask you to send money to someone, which you should know better, but there are other highly prevalent scams as well. The core of most scams I have seen borrowers come across involves someone sending them a cashiers check for some reason, then having that individual refund them a certain portion. By the time your bank realizes it is a fake cashiers check, you have already sent the scam artist back a few thousand.

Easy ways to spot the majority of scams.

1) Unlicensed individual offering something
2) Bad grammar (really bad, not just plain bad like mine)
3) Use of Cashiers checks asking for a portion back
4) The person offering "whatever" is out of state or out of the country

When in doubt Google search the words in the advertisement, and I am sure someone else has been scammed and written about it on the internet.

Thank You,
  • July 02 2012
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Profile picture for user0584361
Thanks all!  I figured it was a scam.
  • July 02 2012
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Comment above is right on the money- need to proceed with caution with rentals these days.  Lots of scams going on- have experienced many times with my listings.

A few rules of thumb:  1)If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true! 2)If owner says he/she is out of country or out of state, but they want you to mail a check- DO NOT DO IT until you are able to verify they are the legitimate owner.  The challenge is that the scam artists are clever and bold- they will use the seller's name.  You want to check tax records and ask for proof of identity. 3) Do not send money until you have someone SHOW you the interior of home.  Do not buy off that they are unavailable- Legitimate listings/rental will have a property management firm, agents and family members get you in the home. 4) Drive by the home- if there is a sale sign out in front; call the listing agent to find out if home is also for rent- that is usually NOT the case. 5) REPORT it to Zillow, Craigslist, whatever site you are using.

Be careful out there!  And best of luck finding your new home:)
 
  • July 02 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Here's a link to Zillow's FAQ on scams.   (Owner not in the county is an excellent clue).

Here's how to report the rental to Zillow so they can delete it/block it.

  • July 02 2012
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