How to avoid foreclosure rent scams

If it’s too good to be true, chances are, it’s too good to be true.

That’s a pretty solid life lesson, which should certainly be applied to many things, especially when it comes to making a big decision like where you intend to lay your head at night.

Therefore, be weary of “homeowners” who offer to rent properties — that aren’t even theirs to market — for rockbottom prices. In fact, with the glut of foreclosed homes affecting just about every corner and neighborhood throughout the United States, the opportunities for scammers looking to dupe hard-working, honest folks increase exponentially.

Such is the case foreclosed homes being used to scam would-be renters. The scammers list foreclosed and/or vacant homes for rent, collect a down payment, typically online, and then disappear.

Rinse, wash, repeat and cheat.

A Keller Williams Realty agent from San Jose, Calif., explains how it’s done via the Seattle Times:

“They [a scammer] take my listing, flip it around, advertise it as a rental. People are told to wire money to an overseas account. Usually, the common thread is, ‘I’m the owner, I’m out of the country for some reason, and that is why I can’t come and meet you. If you’re interested, here’s my bank account, for the deposit.’”

Naturally, the would-be renter, in most cases, can’t “enter” the property until a deposit is made, meaning that photos online and a curbside inspection in these types of scams are red flags that must be identified — and avoided — at all costs.

Other foreclosure rent scam red flags include, but are not limited to:

  • Insist on meeting the owner
  • Don’t wire a deposit in exchange for the keys
  • Be wary of rentals that are “too good to be true”
  • Get a written rental agreement
  • Be suspicious if the owner doesn’t want any information about you

Craigslist, which “goes to great lengths to prevent scams,” is often a common hunting ground for scammers to attempt this type of terrible trick. Be smart, rent carefully.

To check out a very reliable list of foreclosed homes for rent be sure to check out the best nationwide database right here.

Comments

  1. That’s a good guide to start with. Be cautious of people, be keen to details. This knowledge is useful for people who are unaware of how to avoid these gimmicks.

Speak Your Mind

*