Latest Scams - Renting A House Can Now Make You A Victim!

The latest scams that appear to be on the rise are rental scams.

Rental scams are one of the latest scams to pop up.

These scams are especially hard hitting in the urban areas, because people are hurriedly trying to find affordable housing.

The down turn in our economy has made us an easy target for the scammers of the rental racket, but also makes us the victim of identity theft.

  • You’ll find an online ad that seems too good to be true (if it seems like it, it is).

The ad states you can rent a two bedroom house that has been renovated in downtown Los Angeles for only $1000 a month.

These types of identity theft are easy to detect if you know what to look for.

  • If you know anything about Los Angeles, you’ll know the city is known for its expensive rental homes and this seems like a steal.
  • Who knows, maybe the owner was desperate to rent or the neighborhood was run down.

You fire off a quick email to the address listed on the ad to find out more information.

  • A few days later you receive an email littered with grammatical errors and misspellings.
  • The person sending you the email states he is the owner of the house and his family had moved back to Nigeria and he was searching for renters until they returned.
  • If you are interested in renting the house, you should be prepared to send by wire the first month’s rent - $1000 – via Western Union.
  • The house keys and documents would be sent to you as soon as your payment is confirmed.

Beware! This is just another example of the advance-fee theft.

To learn more about all the different scams there are go to identity theft scams.

  • If you search the online property records of Los Angeles, you will find the real name of the current and previous owners, which you will find don’t fit the name the person of the ad gave you.
  • If you write back to the person who wrote the ad and start asking questions such as how much the utilities cost per month or if I can you see the inside of the house before you rent it.
  • You will be told there is no one to show you the house now and will not answer your question pertaining to the utilities.
  • You will be told as soon as you wire the required $1000, his Nigeria client would show you the house.

There are other ways to perpetuate these latest scams. I know someone down the block from me that has an apartment in New York.

  • A scammer listed her apartment for rent using a fake email account, her name and address and put this ad online.
  • People started calling her about her rental and wanting to see her apartment, so obviously, she now knew something was wrong.
  • My neighbor posed as a real renter and emailed the fake scammer.

The imposter said she had moved to a different state and to wire money to prove she really wanted the apartment.

  • Scammers are known to prey on the desperate. They send out millions of this type of message every month, so they don’t have to hit everyone.

It’s what my dad used to call the “shotgun effect”. If you shoot the shotgun enough times in the air, you’ll eventually hit something.


Latest Scams Tips

  • It’s very common for the scammer to use very poor spelling and grammar.
  • It is also common for Nigeria to be mentioned, and the request for wire transfers should be a real give-a-way.
  • You will be asked for personal information and to send money upfront. These are also two of the biggest red flags.
  • To steer clear of these scams, do business with only the “local people”.
  • Alert the Web administrators (many sites now have buttons that let you “flag” suspect ads) if you see ads that appear suspicious.
  • Ask the website to remove the ad if you find your home is being used for scam bait.
  • Make sure you file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov/faq. This is sponsored by the National White Collar Crime Center and the FBI.

Also, check out and be aware of the new identity theft scams.

You should consider the latest scams to be extremely dangerous to everything you hold dear, and is a perfect example of not only losing your money, but your identity along with it.




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