Avoid This Real Estate Scam: Your Home as a Fake Rental

As property management professionals, we are appalled at attempts to defraud people of their hard-earned money. Property management

Unfortunately, in real estate, there are many opportunities for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of people who are simply trying to rent or buy a home the right, ethical way.

The latest real estate scam is something everyone involved in real estate should be aware of: a scheme that takes a home you put up for sale and uses it to get money from people who think it is for rent.

How the Scam Works

Let’s say a home goes up for sale, by the Smiths. The Smiths have their Realtor, Jim, put their home listing online and in print in all of the usual places.

The shady villain, Bob, takes the listing information and creates ads that say the Smiths’ home is actually for rent – and then solicits rental payments and security deposits from these unassuming tenants. Often, they seal the deal by making the would-be tenants an offer that is too good to refuse, usually a below-market rental rate.

So when Frank and Jill decide to rent this home, they send in the usual paperwork – and are even asked for their Social Security numbers and other private information – along with a check that could be worth several thousand dollars.

Of course, Bob keeps the money and Frank and Jill never get to rent the Smiths’ home – which was never for rent in the first place. Meanwhile, the Smiths are not aware of the scam until Frank and Jill come calling to move in.

Avoid the Scam With These Guidelines

To keep yourself clear of these unethical practices, RealtyTimes offered a few terrific pieces of advice:

If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is; compare the going rate for similar properties to the quoted rate;

Avoid wiring money to strangers without being sure of their identity;

Be suspicious of anyone who asks for a deposit before showing the property;

Make sure your representative (agent, Realtor, or property manager) is aware of these types of frauds and scams.

If you want property management in Birmingham, AL you can trust – and can keep you and your investment safe from fraud – contact gkhouses.com and call 205.940.6363.