SCAM ALERT: Crooks Are Renting Homes They Don't Own
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) —
There's another scam going around Fresno and this one involves crooks who are renting homes they don't own.
The Better Business Bureau in Fresno says they've received several complaints from people who say they've been scammed by fake Craigslist rental ads.
The BBB says a 29-year old Fresno woman responded to a fake Craigslist ad for a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house. The man she dealt with said he was in Arkansas and told her to go look at the house. The scam artist gave the woman the address and told her to look through the windows. She paid him an $800 security deposit. When he asked for first and last month's rent before getting the keys, she knew there was a problem. .
According to the BBB, something scam artists are doing is they're scoping out real rental properties in person and online. Then the crooks are posting fake Craigslist ads using the information.
"As P.T. Barnum said there's a sucker born every minute," says Blair Looney, President and C.E.O. of the Better Business Bureau serving Central California, "They're preying on people every day. We're seeing more and more of it, and people keep falling for the same scam repeatedly."
Here are some red flags you can look out for when renting a home:
- If the renter won't let you in the house and tells you that you can only look through the windows.
- If the only communication is through text messages and email.
- The renter claims to be out of the country or in a different state.
- The renter asks for your personal information, like your social security number, bank account or credit cards numbers before you fill out a rental application.
- If the rent is too low, it's probably too good to be true.
- If you the renter asks you send money using a Green Dot Money Pak Card or to wire you money.
If you think you may be the victim of a scam you should report it to your police department and the Better Business Bureau.