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Real Estate Investing
New Scam Defrauds Renters and Landlords

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By Dwdonhoff
August 27, 2009

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Hey gang.... a very interesting thing happened you want to hear about.

Not *REALLY* endangering us landlords so much... but we're close enough to the flame I could see a burn if we weren't careful!

Extremely Dangerous to Renters!

We marketed a SFR (single family residence) of ours for $1,300/month, got a great tenant in about 2 months ago... all is good & well.

Yesterday the tenant calls, a little nose-tweaked, and asks "have I done something wrong? Is there something I need to know about?"

Of course, my wife said "No... all is good.. why?"

Tenant: "Somebody came by the house this afternoon with a copy of your new rental advertisement on Craigslist, and said you gave them permission to do a walk-through... so I walked them through the house... but I really want to stay!"

Joanne: "OMG... we WANT you to stay also... we ARE NOT ADVERTISING that house! You are on a lease... you're set, good to go!"

After getting the tenant settled down, Joanne went & surfed Craigslist... and sure enough, there was "our" advert... the only thing that was changed was the rent offer was now $1,100/month.

She immediately flagged the advert to CL... but today she's going to go back & see if the poster will actually respond to HER inquiry as a potential renter...

BOTTOM LINE ON THIS SCAM:

A) The scammer obviously copied & saved our script & all the pics.

B) They are probably trying to anonymously advertise, remotely show (as they did with our tenant,) and the "meet at a Starbucks" to go through a bogus app AND COLLECT A CASH DEPOSIT... only to then disappear!

C) Of course, (more insidiously) they may ALSO be scoping out the possibilities for theft and/or rape.


LESSON TO LANDLORDS;
A) BE IT KNOWN... your exact advert, including pictures, *CAN* be stolen and later re-posted with a different contact number & email address... and you may not ever know!

B) WARN YOUR TENANTS!!! They should know that YOU EXPRESSLY *NEVER EVER EVER* will authorize ANYBODY TO EVER enter their home WITHOUT AGREED NOTICE, AND THEIR APPROVAL OF THAT PERSON.

Luck!
Dave