I just got a call from a client who’d gotten a text message from somebody in New York inviting him to visit one of our rental listings. If he liked it he was supposed to wire the $1,000 security deposit and the $1,000 first month’s rent.
The problem was that it wasn’t the owner who was texting.
This has happened before and with other property managers’ listings. Crooks pick up the property photo and details through Zillow, Trulia, or even by searching property managers. And it looks very legitimate.
Then they use online advertising or even random phone calling to trap someone looking to rent a home.
Watch for unsolicited messages that offer something that seems to be too good to be true (we all know the saying . . . “If it looks too good . . . “). The listing this individual responded to was $1,650 per month, not $1,000 for example.
Bad grammar, asking for bank account info or your SSN. All red flags.
Stick with people you know.