According to CNBC, “Renting an apartment or a single-family home may seem easier than buying one, especially as so much of the process is online.” Easier, however, isn’t always safer. More than 43 percent of renters have found listings that seem fraudulent, and more than 5 million have fallen for common rental scams, often losing thousands of dollars.
The Omaha Worl-Herald says, “No one was more surprised than Suzy Pfaff to see the for-rent ad circulating for a freshly painted, three-bedroom house near Standing Bear Lake.”
“That’s because the house was hers — and she certainly was not trying to rent it out.”
“Pfaff soon would learn that an impostor had hijacked her home photos and other information, apparently from a different online real estate site where she had listed her home for sale. The thief, trying to pass off her house as his own, managed to swindle money from at least one home hunter, despite warning signs Pfaff planted in her yard. One said: “Not for Rent. Khoa Truong is a Scam. Don’t send $.”
“Even a suspicious Carrie Ennis said the affordable rent and attractive interior photos she saw on social media tempted her into taking a drive to look at the home’s exterior. The impostor promised to mail keys in exchange for a rent installment ($900) and a deposit ($800).”
“Too many red flags for Ennis, who ended up contacting Pfaff and offering to help expose the fraud. But she said she could relate to frustrated home seekers who might at least nibble.”
According to Apartment List, some of the most common rental scams are:
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