Everyone has heard the old saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” That old saying has never been more true than today. With a tough economy, money tight and everyone looking to save every dollar, real estate scams are increasing. The most common version we REALTORS® deal with is the rental property scam that begins on the internet.
This scam begins as a simple advertisement on any number of internet sites. The owner has a great property that he would like to rent. The property owner will be moving or has already moved out the country and is offering the property at a price that is “too good to be true.” The properties involved in these scams are usually real. You can typically drive up and see them, but odds are you will not be able to enter them. The scammers pull actual photos and data from legitimate real estate sites and create the rental scam ads. The ads or the scammers will require deposits to reserve the rental property. Once the deposit is received the scammer will offer to send keys to the property. By now your money is long gone and you still don’t have a home.
You can take steps to protect yourself from these scams. First and foremost if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. When looking for rental property, deal with local people and meet in person. Never agree to rent, lease or buy property over the internet site unseen. Avoid wiring funds, sending checks or giving out financial information. If you have any questions regarding real estate please call a REALTOR® and investigate the property. Remember the scammers are making every effort to mislead you and take your money. Do your homework, investigate the property and walk away if you have reservations.
If you have questions about River Region Real Estate don’t hesitate to call a member of the Montgomery Area Association of REALTORS®.