Monday, December 15, 2008

New Scam Alert! Renters Beware...

The other day, my husband and I were listening to Clark Howard on the radio while driving home from Florida. He was talking about the latest scam affecting people looking for a home to rent. Here's how it works: due to the large amount of homes currently bank-owned or vacant, people are now breaking into those homes, changing the locks and acting as landlord's...they put an ad in the paper or Craig's List advertising the home for rent. Then when the person meets them to rent the home, the "landlord" hands them the new set of keys and collect first and last month's rent, as well as a security deposit. Afterwards, they hit the road, never to be seen again....The people move into the home, thinking they are entitled to rent it...and when the bank gets around to checking on the property, the renters find out they have been scammed.

Well, the story gets better...the next day after hearing this story my husband received a phone call from a man that had seen a rent ad in Craig's List on one our listings (this listing happens to be vacant because the owners have relocated and are trying to sell). Matt (the hubby) told him that he was not aware of the property being for rent, just for sale. Evidently, some crooked person decided to try to rent our listing--they created a fake e-mail address using the owner's name and they copied our listing pictures and description of the property into their rent ad. The man interested in renting the property thought something was fishy after e-mailing the man back and forth, so he drove to the home to look it over...and saw our "For Sale" sign in the yard. That's when he decided to call Matt and discuss it with him.

I'm so glad that the man did not fall for the scam...and that he called and told us about it! We have since sent Craig's List a scam alert on the ad and they have removed it. Please, be careful if you are renting a property. Make sure you know where the supposed landlord's office is and you may even want to take down their license plate number.

To read the article from Clark Howard's Website and also get tips on renting a property, please click on the link:

If you are interested in purchasing a home, please contact me at: I would be happy to help you!

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