How to Protect Yourself From Rental Scams!
Almost every day we hear a warning about rental scams on our national morning news broadcast. Logically we stop and listen to what it was all about. Frequently we hear our real estate business being slammed because of displeased clients. But we only ever hear one side of the story – the tenants. However, it was nicely surprising to see that we can in fact profit from this news story. Here’s our break to promote the benefits of using a licensed property management agency.
Rental scams are easy to plan and are fronts for many other illegal activities. There are internet scams whereby businesses or scamming folks rent out properties that do not exist. The property does exist, however it is absolutely not available for lease because it is not owned or even managed by the person marketing it. The property’s promoter asks the applicant to provide all their personal details, including driver’s license, reference contact details, copies of passport, and even pay all the money upfront on approval. The business or individual scammer, pretending to be the legal property owner, supplies the applicant copies of their own passport, credit card, teacher’s union card and photos of the property. This should be the applicant’s first caution sign that something isn’t right! Why do property owners need to supply information confirming their identity? Why would an applicant need any of this information from a property owner? The applicant is then sent a tenancy agreement from the property owner’s ‘lawyer’ requesting money to be transferred to a particular (usually out o the country) bank account. The applicant signs the lease and pays the money.
So we’ve seen just how effortless it is for fake property owners to promote real properties and rent them to innocent tenants. These businesses or individuals don’t even have to live in the area, or country for that matter, to ‘rent out’ real properties. Make sure to always check and verify yourself if the company exist. Maybe a face to face appointment would be helpful.