Rental Market Tightens – Scams Becoming More Prevalent

One of the things that’s happening due to the huge number of foreclosures is that there’s fewer and fewer rentals available, and therefore rent prices are rising quickly (along with everything else it seems, except home sale prices). Much of what was once rental inventory is now foreclosure inventory, which has caused a shortage of homes for rent.

There’s 2 big scams being worked right now, and they both involve rentals. One scam is being worked against landlords, and another scam is being worked against tenants.

Scams That Target Landlords

Mostly it’s being done on the internet with offers to rent being made for homes that are advertised on Craigs List, Forbyowner.com  and even in our own MLS for properties that are managed by Realtors(r).

Fake, forged or altered cashiers checks or money orders are being sent in as payment for much more than the amount required, with a simple request that the “EXCESS” be sent back to the tenant. Of course, 4–6 weeks later, your bank will inform you that the cashiers check or money order was forged. Guess who gets stuck!

The people who are perpetrating this scam are the very same people who want you to act as their agent to receive the 43 million dollars that’s on deposit at some bank that never got claimed.

Unfortunately, they get away with BILLIONS of dollars a year.

Scams That Target Tenants

There’s 2 different versions that I’ve heard about lately. Version one involves theives that are setting up shop in vacant, bank owned homes, that haven’t yet been put on the market. The thieves break into the home, run an ad in the paper and online, sit back and collect.

They’re showing the property to prospective tenants and taking money for deposits, promising that they tenant can move in quickly. Before they pack up, they collect money from lots of people who all think that they’re renting the same home.

The same game is being played by legitimate owners of the property, which is even more dispicable. They’re doing it just a few days or week before the bank takes the home. They rent the home out to multiple people at the same time, collect money from all of them, pack up and disappear.

Try to rent from a legitimate, licensed property manager. Avoid being ripped off.