If you’re in the market for a rental property, there’s a popular scam going around that you need to watch out for. How do we know how it works? We were indirectly affected by it. 

You see, we listed a vacant property, but about a week later, we started getting calls from people asking about getting the keys to it. We had no idea what they were talking about, but we eventually found out what happened. 

As it turns out, someone stole pictures of that property and used them to make their own fake rental listing on Craigslist. They even researched its tax records to find out who the owner was so they could create an email unsuspecting renters could respond to. Basically, they were trying to list the property far below market value and trick anyone who was interested in it to wire money to them in exchange for the keys to be delivered in the mail.

“If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.”

How can you protect yourself against this scam? There are a couple of red flags that you need to watch out for.  

The first is if you come across a listing whose price is very low. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. The second is if the person you contact for the listing tells you they can’t meet you at the property to walk you through it and/or hand over the keys. 

The best thing you can do if you’re suspicious about a property, though, is give our team a call. We’ll research the property for you. You can also do the same thing yourself by just calling the “listing agent,” checking if the property is listed elsewhere online, or driving up to it in person and seeing if there’s a “For Sale” sign in the front yard. If there is, call the number that’s written on it. 

As always, if you have any questions about this topic, don’t hesitate to give me a call or shoot me an email. If you’re thinking of selling a home or you have any other real estate needs, feel free to reach out to me as well. I’d love to help you.