Friday, May 16, 2014

Rentals-- there is a new scam that Scammers are doing

If you or someone you know is looking for rentals there is a new scam that Scammers are doing it is like this; They copy and paste legitimate listings (either for sale or for rent), and then after getting inquiries and questions, try to get victims to wire them the deposit.
"They're marketing it for up to $500 less (than the original listing amount) or what the normal amount is going for in the area.
A scammer will even suggest to an interested renter drive to the property and view it for themselves.  If there is a sign on the property- call the number in front of the home!!  If it is not the number you called the first time- it is a scam!! 
I have just had this happen to 2 of my listing, it is getting bothersome.  One gal had even wired $500.00 to the scammer just so she could save it- without filling an application or any other procedure.    I feel bad, but there are so many warning signs- or so I think!! 
The old adage is: if it sounds too good to be true, then it is!
If you are going to sell a car, or furniture- most of us would go find out how much it is worth and then list it for around that price as you want to get the most you can for the item, right??  Well, why would someone rent their home (one of the most expensive items they own for less than they could) speaking for the majority or perhaps all of us—they wouldn't!!
 So there is your first clue.  Another good tip off they don’t ask for any ID, references, nothing (sometimes they say- “send the money just to hold it for you” or I can’t get all the paperwork done right now so just send me the earnest money of $XXX.XX  and we will take care of the rest later.…If you were going to rent your home- would you handle it this way?  Wouldn't you want to know; the potential tenant’s name, where they work, some references, bank accounts, etc???  Which now leads me to ---DO NOT GIVE OUT THAT TYPE OF INFORMATION UNLESS YOU KNOW YOU ARE DEALING WITH A LICENCE AGENT/BROKER or PROPERTY MANAGER.  THESE ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO PROTECTING AND STORING THAT TYPE OF DATA.
If you give it to a person that just owns the home, there is no way to know what they are doing with that information. So just be careful out there!  The rental market is very competitive out there right now, but stop and think before you act.  It could save you lots of money and headaches!!   
It is best to look out for dramatic changes in listing prices- comparable to the neighborhood. Also it's helpful to check the county assessor's office to make sure the person you're talking to is the current owner of the property.  If not, make sure they have the legal right to show you the property—you should NEVER go through someone’s home without having the agent or landlord present.