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House Rental Scams

House Rental Scams refers to anyone renting and advertising a room, apartment, house, timeshare, etc. We were actually almost scammed in this one ourselves. Read on!

We placed an ad in the local College University off campus housing website. We thought our large near empty home might be nice to offer to a student. We got numerous replies but several came from the UK (some had e-mail addresses).

The scam goes like this: A student claims to be interested in your room or apartment. You reply stating your property is still available. They reply back asking for cost details a some pictures. You send this info readily.

On the third or so e-mail they say their Dad will be contacting you to arrange for rent payment. They ask for your correct name and address to send you the rent.

A Fed Ex envelope shows up with $3000-$4000 in either checks, or money orders in it. You did not agree to anything but a monthly fee so this amount seems peculiar. You e-mail back asking why so much money?

They reply saying part of it is for rent and security. The remainder they ask you to send some of it to their child who is staying with friends in the USA. They request that you send this money via Western Union.

If you did all this, you'd find that the initial checks or money orders were bogus. If you cashed them and sent the money via Western Union, YOU would have been liabale for the money you sent as the checks/money orders would have bounced!

The scammers play on your desire to help a student. We even had the "Dad " call us to ask whether we handle the money as he requested. He hung up assoon as we suggested he was a scammer!

We actually received several hits on this one rental we posted and all were scams originating in supposedly the UK. We found from the local FBI that these are just one of thousands of such scams. We were lucky to not have sent any money-but seriously why would they not have just sent that money DIRECT to their child. Why ask us to be the middle person.

NEVER cash a check or money order and/or transfer these funds until that check or money order clears the bank!! House rental scams whether a vacation home, apartment, timeshares, they all can scam you.

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