Scammers and rental scams are prevalent!Today we stopped yet another person from sending someone $1,000.00 on a fictitious rental listing – this is about the twentieth incident we've seen in the past year. Please use caution when inquiring about rental properties online, watch this video for some warning signs on potential online scams when it comes to a rental – from seeing the same rental property twice for different prices, listed by different owners, to the "property owner" claiming to be out of the country, and requesting you send money prior to even viewing the property. We can’t say this enough; never send money to anyone on a rental property without physically seeing the property, or verifying this is a legitimate rental listing via through a licensed agent . If it looks too good to be true it probably is!
Posted by The Maryland and Delaware Group of Long and Foster -Eastern Shore on Monday, January 7, 2019
Today I stopped yet another person from sending someone $1,000.00 on a fictitious rental listing – this is about the twentieth incident we’ve seen in the past year. Please use caution when inquiring about rentals online, here are some warning signs on potential online scams when it comes to a rental. I can’t say this enough; never send money to anyone on a rental property without physically seeing the property, or verifying this is a legitimate rental listing via through a licensed agent.
If you see the same rental twice for different prices listed by different owners this is a huge red flag. For example, you may see a rental listed on a site by Long and Foster for $1,200.00, but then find that same property on Craigslist for $900.00, chances are the second one could be a scam. What scammers do is post the rental for a under market price and claim they really need to get it rented fast. Always do as much research as possible when you find a property, or inquire with a real estate company to verify the information you find online. There have even been instances where fictitious rental listings have popped up on popular sites like Zillow and Trulia. The potential scam listings will even go as far as saying they fired their agent if you contact them for an inquiry- and they are renting it themselves that’s why you see if twice online.
The property owner claims to be out of the country, and asks you to send money prior to even viewing the property and promises to provide the keys once they receive money – because of point one, the rental property being such a good deal, people sometime believe this is the case. NEVER send money to anyone on a rental property before you have had a chance to view it, and always be weary of sending money out of the country.
Other red flags that may occur include they will not communicate with you via phone and strictly email or they will only talk with you via a Google voice or some type of internet phone number. Most property owners, if they are out of the country, or live out of the country have a management company or someone in the area that takes care of their property, therefore, do be suspicious if a property owner is claiming they are out of the country but you need to deal directly with them. There are always exceptions where it may be a legitimate owner who is out of the country, but if it looks too good to be true it probably is. Reach out to a licensed agent who can check online history, tax records etc.. Agents can also help you validate if a listing is legitimate or not . Rental scams are prevalent and in every market, so please pay attention when shopping!