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Alert! Rental Websites Scam!

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Real Estate Social MediaConnect on Facebook Follow Us On Twitter YouTube Channeltrulia-vip_120Pinterest The Cascade Team

 

Residential Listings Advertised as Rentals on Craigslist and others:

 
April 30th, 2012. Active residential listings are being posted by scam artists to a number of legitimate rental websites, including Hotpad, LiveLovely.com, Trovit.com, RentJungle.com, ChoiceofHomes.com, ebayclassifieds and olx.com. In a recent scam, the scam artist posed as the home owners, and communicated with potential renters via email. They told the renters that they recently ended their contract with their real estate broker, which was why the sign was still in the yard. They asked the potential renters to wire funds to London and said they will receive the key to the home after the money was received.
 

NWMLS encourages all listing brokers to follow the steps below:

  • Perform an internet search to find any fraudulent rental ads for your listed properties
  • Contact each website to remove the fraudulent ad and report the fraudulent activity
  • File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), funded in part by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The IC3 website also offers an FAQ Section with additional information about reporting online crime.
 

Update April 18, 2012. Alert! Craigslist Rental Scam: NWMLS members are continuing to report that active residential listings are being fraudulently posted on Craigslist as rental properties.

In a recent scam, the scammer used part of the listing broker’s name in the ad’s reply email address, listed a phone number, and responded to potential renters using the listing broker’s name. We encourage all listing brokers to check Craigslist.com to ensure your listings are not being falsely advertised as rental properties. Please contact the website and your local police if your listings are involved in a rental scam.

Update April 8, 2012. Be on alert for residential listings posted as rentals on Craigslist and other websites. In a recent scam, a home was placed on Craigslist by someone claiming to be the homeowner, saying they were out of the county on a mission. Read this example of a Fraudulent Rental Email for details (submitted to NWMLS by a member).

Update March 30, 2012. NWMLS members are continuing to report that their active residential listings are being posted on Craigslist as rental properties. In many scams, the property is listed in Craigslist by a scam artist impersonating the "out of town" seller. The scammers often respond saying they are missionaries in Africa or other similar stories. When someone responds to the ad, they are told by the scam artist to walk by the property and then send the rent or deposit money through the mail to receive the key.

We encourage all listing brokers to check Craigslist.com to ensure your listings are not being falsely advertised as rental properties. Please contact Craigslist and the local police if your listings are involved in a rental scam.

Unfortunately, reports of this scam have been increasing in the last few months. Please read our previous announcements below for more information.

Update: March 3rd, 2012. NWMLS members are continuing to report that their active residential listings are being posted on Craigslist and other legitimate websites as rental properties. The perpetrator posts listing details such as the address, listing photos and verbiage in the false ad. While each scam is slightly different, they often have these similarities:

  • The scammer pretends to be the homeowner or listing broker
  • The contact email address in the fraudulent ad may include the name(s) of the actual owner or listing broker
  • The scammer claims to be out of the area and asks the renter to inspect the property on their own rather than meeting in person
  • The scammer claims that the keys will be sent after a rental application, application fee, deposit, or first month’s rent is received

We encourage all listing brokers to check Craigslist.com to ensure your listings are not being falsely advertised as rental properties. Please contact the website and your local police if your listings are involved in a rental scam.

Update: June 27, 2011. We are continuing to receive notifications about residential listings being falsely advertised as rental properties on websites such as Zillow.com, Rentals.com, Rentbits.com, Hotpads.com, Findhomerentals.com, and Craigslist.com. If your listing is being falsely advertised on a rental website, immediately notify the website and the police.

Update: March 11, 2011. An active residential listing has been posted as a rental on Craigslist.com. The contact is "Manuel Bernal" who is telling renters that he and his family are missionaries in Nigeria...

Update: January 18, 2011. We are continuing to receive notifications about residential listings being advertised as rentals on rental websites (Rentals.com, Rentbits.com, Hotpads.com, Findhomerentals.com, and Craigslist.com). The perpetrators have been using the homeowner’s name and/or the listing broker’s name to create false email addresses in the postings to make them appear legitimate. When contacted via email, they ask the potential renter to ignore the For Sale signs, and give information about where to send the funds. If your listing is being advertised, notify the website and the police.

Update: January 17, 2011. Active residential listings are continuing to be posted as rentals on a number of rental websites. In a recent scam, when potential renters inquired about the home, the perpetrator impersonated the listing broker in the reply. Please be careful and notify the police if your listings are involved in a rental scam.

Update: December 20, 2010. NWMLS has been notified that active residential listings are being posted as rentals on a number of legitimate rental websites, including Rentbits.com, Hotpads.com, Findhomerentals.com, and Craigslist.com. The perpetrators have been using the homeowner’s name to create false email addresses in the postings to make them appear legitimate. When contacted via email, they ask the potential renter to ignore the For Sale signs, and give information about where to send the funds. Please contact the local authorities if your listings are involved in a rental scam.

September 16, 2009. NWMLS has been notified of a scam involving the placement of active residential listings on Craigslist as rentals. The perpetrator posted the address, the listing agent’s photos and verbiage in the false ad. The police have been notified of this scam. NWMLS encourages all listing agents to check craigslist.com to ensure listings are not being falsely advertised as rental properties. Please contact the local authorities if your listings are involved in a rental scam.

The Cascade Team Real Estate

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9 Responses to "Alert! Rental Websites Scam! "

Jylian Ravan wrote: A scammer on TROVIT (HUGE amount of homes) account was accidentally forwarded to my email box!!!! This happened after I had unquired about a rental in my area. Soon after I sent the EMAIL inquiring about property, I received an email, meant for the CRIMINAL FROM TROVIT including my name and contact info. Reminding them that I had showed interest and to please respond to me. I was shocked and confused when I clicked on a link in an email addressed to scammer but sent to me, I had full access to this guy's account with fake property rentals throughout United States! As I scrolled down through the very professional looking account, I was absolutely horrified
I'm not sure where to take this info. As Trovit never responded to my report and the accounts are still being generated. Many in my state Oregon have rejected his listings yet accepted and posted dozens upon dozens of other fake homes.
Just last week a middleeastern man called me on at home in Oregon. I was told that if I sent in cash asap, ,I could be sent keys! I played along at first and asked him why I couldn't see inside. Very nervously, he just kept talking over me asking how much and what time that day could I pay towards deposit. Even when I called him out. He kept badgering me!
Please email me if you can direct me towards the right law enforcement division please call 9715700689
Shannon Cash wrote: I visited the Trovit website in search for a rental home and found this listing to be fraudulent. 3530 Wilton Ave. Doraville, Ga. After inquiring more information about this property, I was told by the fraudulent owner that they lived out of state and I would have to send the first months rent and deposit to them before I could get the key and without ever seeing the inside of the home. I did further research on this rental property and found out it was renting for twice the price and currently unavailable. Please do something to have this removed before someone is victimized in this scam.
Brittany wrote: Was interested in a property on this site and requested information. The person got back to me the very next day and said him and his family moved out of state for a better job and that if i sent him 900$ via moneygram hed send me the keys in fedex. I been scamed that way in the past and learned my lesson so i cursed them out and left it alone. Havent hurd from them since..
Rakeem wrote: Is hotpad or trovit homes a fruard website
MEGAN wrote: SO I USED TROVIT FOR THE FIRST (AND LAST!!) TIME YESTERDAY. FOUND A HOUSE THAT REALLY WAS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. CONTACTED THE NUMBER LISTED AND SPOKE W. THE "OWNER" OF THE HOUSE FOR OVER 2 HOURS. WENT TO LOOK AT THE HOUSE WITH MY BROTHER AND NOTIFIED THE "OWNER" THAT WE WERE IN THE DRIVEWAY, WAITING. HE STOPPED RESPONDING TO MY TEXTS/CALLS ONCE WE ARRIVED. WE SAW A SIGN IN THE FRONT YARD SAYING THE HOUSE WAS AVAILABLE. CALLED THE NUMBER ON THE SIGN AND WAS INFORMED BY A REALTOR THAT WHOEVER I SPOKE TO WAS TRYING TO PULL A SCAM. NOT TO MENTION, THE HOUSE HAD JUST RECENTLY BEEN PULLED OFF THE MARKET. THE "OWNER" WAS SWEARING UP AND DOWN THAT HE WAS A "CHRISTIAN MAN" THAT WAS ON A "MISSIONARY TRIP" WITH HIS CHURCH AND WOULD BE GONE FOR A FEW YEARS AND WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO "GIVE THE HOUSE THE LOVE AND ATTENTION IT DESERVES". I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS MAN WAS THINKING. SURELY HE DIDN'T THINK THAT WE WOULD JUST GIVE HIM MONEY W.OUT EVER SEEING THE INSIDE OF THE HOUSE. THE WHOLE SITE IS A SCAM!! THEY LIST THE HOUSES SO MUCH CHEAPER THAN WHAT THE OTHER SITES DO AND NOW I KNOW WHY!! THANK GOODNESS WE WEREN'T GULLIBLE ENOUGH TO HAVE SENT HIM MONEY.
Darleen Collins wrote: Totally a scam,no one answers phone and much more. Totally disgusting
Avis Burnhart wrote: The same person tried to scam me with the exact same story today! These people should be ashamed of themselves! He is scamming several properties owned by Alpha Property in Greenville South Carolina. Pls be careful!
Jayson Matthwe wrote: DATECAPITAL.COM posted ads on Craigslist.org with many Agent numbers and When you call for home or apt. for rent, they want $199 for verify or application fee, or service fee etc. Please don't pay . If you pay once you can't get back your money and any house or apt. This website "DATECAPITAL.COM" IS A number one scam site. Beware of this site . Don't wire transfer. Thanks
Vi wrote: Central Consulting Services Agency & another Agency in Rowland Height keep on posting lot of fake posts of apt/home for rent on Craigslist luring victims to their office manipulate lie to pay them $200 to see the place posted in Craigslist. Telling them that the $50 is the service fee (like an application to apply for the place without checking your credit) & you will get back the $150 when you rent the place or any other place in their lists (fake non-rental listing).

Rip U Off $200 Cash & No Return, Lie, Cheat, Steal & more just to check out their fake addresses posted from Craigslist. Copy your paychecks (steal your social security number) & Identity (ID) to apply loans, credits, bank accounts, created debts & ton of online purchases + fraud & sell your info & totally victimized U.

Lists not accurate/No Exist. Con-Artist Agency provided no help nor meet up. Do it all yourself & Pay $200 a one time print out of fake rental lists anyone can do at home.

C.C.S.
Central Consulting Services
3717 West 3rd St, Ste 204, Los Angeles, CA 90020

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