If you are looking for a rental property, you need to be aware of scammers who take advantage of the very high rental demand.
Sherri Harris lost $ 2,200 after thinking he had found the perfect rental property.
“Given that we are dealing with bonds, it’s very devastating,” she said. “I thought it was safe, so I used a voucher, so I went with him.”
She wanted to use the Section 8 voucher to do more than just call a man who claims to be the landlord when she finds a rental property.
“Let’s go see the property first, where we drove by the property and a young woman lived there.”
When Harris talked to the tenant who confirmed the move and was asked about the landlord, the tenant named the same man Harris was talking about renting said he was a great landlord. “He will fix everything you want. If you want an upgrade, he will give you them.”
Harris was ecstatic. She did her homework and thought she had landed the perfect rental property. She triple-checked her landlord’s name from her emailed rental application and confirmed it in Wake County real estate records.
She was instructed by email to buy a Visa gift card, outsmart it, and send a photo to someone she thought was the landlord.
“This time it’s my key time. Where is my key? I’m waiting.” But the key never came and there was no contact from someone who thought he was the landlord. And I realized that I was scammed from all the money I had just put in my gift card.
She tracked down the real owner of the property and found that the scammers were using the real owner’s name in their rental ads.
“He duplicated the ad. He copied the list from Zillow and posted it on the North Carolina Housing and Social Welfare Department website. Both Harris and the real owner of the house submitted a police report. However, Harris knows that she is unlikely to get her money back.
The website where Harris found the rental has a scam warning about fake lists. ABC11 warned you How does this scam occur when the lessor finds the list on Zillow?
Harris gives this advice after losing all that money and not having a rent yet. “Talking to them over the phone is the same as texting. You can talk to anyone over the phone, but you want a live video or you need to meet the landlord in person.”
When it comes to protecting your money, you can never do enough research. A big danger signal for this rental scam is when you request payment via a gift card, wire transfer, or cash app. You need to remember that it’s very easy to copy a legitimate rental property.
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