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 yahoo.uk 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
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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