Scammers Use Vacant Homes as Bait

October 11, 2011

Las Vegas police and real estate agents are warning renters of a new scam in the area, which has also been stretching nationwide. Scammers are posting housing ads online, such as on Craig’s List, that promote a vacant home available for rent. The unsuspecting renter pays a security deposit and sends monthly rent checks to who they believe is their landlord. 

But the landlord doesn’t really own the property and is pocketing the money, police and agents warn. Scammers are targeting vacant homes and foreclosed properties in the rental scam, they say. 

Brenda Crosbie-Jaeger, a real estate agent in Las Vegas, says the scammers are posing as real estate professionals and putting together fake lease agreements and forging the seller’s name. They’re also changing the locks on the house so the new renters can move in. 

Police are encouraging renters to work with a licensed real estate professional or property management firms to make sure they’re renting a property that is indeed for rent.

Source: “Police, Realtors Warn of Vacant Home Rental Scam,” KTNV-13 News (Oct. 7. 2011)

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