How to Avoid Online Rental Scammers

Beware Online Scams

 

In today’s world there are a lot of unscrupulous people out there trying to take advantage of renters. Be careful when looking to rent a property off of any website or online service. Here is an example of an email sent from someone trying to scam a potential renter:

Good day

Thanks for your interest in my property, the home is still available and ready for move-in as soon as all necessary arrangements can be made. My name is xxx. The house is located at xxxxxxx. This immaculate home is well located, it gives you the privacy you need and deserve. beautiful floors throughout the house with carpet in the bedrooms. The kitchen comes adorned with adorable appliances and open ups to the living room and back door to the private back yard.

Recently (about 2 months ago) I just got transferred to another region. My company decided to open a sub-division in Canada and I was transferred there as chief operation manager to see and make sure things start up quite well. I guess the period for such stabilization might take 4-7 years as such I decided to sell the house at first, that was when I found an agent whom we both agreed on terms and conditions, this prompted the Realtor agent to place for sale sign on the property that was when my wife and well-wishers around started calling to advise me not to sell but rather rent it out so that it can be well catered and cared for before our return. This prompted why I had to request for my keys and document from the Realtor agent and they are with me presently.

I decided not to involve any agent in renting the house out as this will cost the occupant more money which I don’t want as I want the occupant to understand the main aim why I am letting the house out and i feel he/she should get clue of the reason even with the amount I am willing to let it out.
NOTE: All I really want is to find someone who would rent and take care of my property while am away, and i feel there is no other way than to do it personally. That would make the landlord to tenant relation start on a good foot.

I want you to know that it was due to my transfer that made me and my family to leave the house. I want to give it out for rent and we are looking for a responsible, dedicated, committed and trustworthy person that can take very good care of the property as we are really not concerned with the money for the rent but we want it to be clean and immaculate at the time of our return.
Definitely, I would need your bio data which I guess is the only thing I can use to randomly access you. I would be needing information such as:

FULL NAME:
MARITAL STATUS:
OCCUPATION:
HOME PHONE NUMBER:
MOBILE NUMBER:
EMAIL ADDRESS:
CURRENT ADDRESS STATE,ZIP:
REASON FOR LEAVING/WANTING TO LEAVE :
YOUR PREVIOUS HOME OF RESIDENCE:
PREVIOUS RENT:
NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT IS TO LEAVE IN THE HOUSE:
DO YOU HAVE A CAR? IF YES HOW MANY:
DO YOU HAVE A PET?
WHEN DO YOU PLAN MOVING INTO A NEW HOME:
and concerning wanting to view the house, you could go there and take a look at the building surrounding and neighborhood but as for the inside, you won’t be able to view it as the keys for the house are here with me as at present. Please note you won’t be able to view the internal part of the house because the keys are here with me…. some interior pictures has been attached to this email.

Look forward to reading from you with all the requested information so that i can have it in my file in case of issuing receipts, drafting of lease document and majorly for reference purpose

Please note the security deposite is the same as the monthly rent and my property is move in ready Rent=$950

Regards.
Thanks and God Bless You

Notice the story of why they are not in town and how you cannot view the property.  In this case it is a house for sale for $365,000.  Here is a list of different red flags:

1. The home is listed on Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia or some other online source that allows individuals to post listings. The only accurate online websites are Realtor.com or a real estate website with listings from MLS like our broker Jeff Dean’s site http://dallas-realestate.net/

2. The offer is too good to be true – (a $365,000 house that includes washer dryer and yard service for $950)

3. Beware of e-mail correspondence from the “landlord” that’s written in poor or broken English.

4. They tell you to drive by the property and look in the windows.

5. They tell you to wire money to hold the home without meeting the owner.

6. They do not require you to fill out a credit application (or they ask for the info to steal your identity).

7. They are always in another country because of work or they are missionaries and use God Bless to make you think they are good people.

Things you can do to protect yourself:

1. Hire a Realtor to help you find a property (if you are in the Dallas area feel free to contact us)

2. Never rent from someone that is not local.

3. Never wire money to someone.

4. If getting a cashier’s check make sure the tax records of the property match the owner’s name you are paying. (Unless they are represented by a property manager or Realtor).

5. If it sounds too good to be true, it normally is.

 

You can read more at the FBI website on rental scams here