The Bullhead City Police Department is warning the public about a rental scam.
A local man who was trying to rent his Bullhead City home reported that someone fraudulently recreated his rental advertisement onto another website. This same scam has been reported nationwide where scammers steal legitimate rental or real estate listings, change the email address or other contact information, and place the modified ad on another site.
The scammer then tries to obtain personal information and money by instructing prospective renters to pay for a credit report, down payment or realtor service fees, etc.
The local man was contacted by a potential renter who was suspicious of the fraudulent listing. Fortunately, the potential renter did not send the scammer the requested rental application and money gram for a “down payment.”
The man reported that a fraudulent post advertising his rental property, which included a fake contact email containing his real name, was published online twice.
Here are some tips to avoid this scam:
· A huge red flag is if you are instructed to wire money. Wiring money or using a prepaid debit card is just like sending cash. Once you’ve sent it, you cannot get it back.
· Research the property owner and listing.
· If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers often promise low rent and other incentives. See the property in person before giving any money or personal information.
· Scammers often claim to be out of the country and want you to send money overseas. Don’t fall for a “landlord” who says they are out of the country.
To find out more information about this scam and others, visit: www.bbb.org/scam, www.consumer.ftc.gov, or www.azag.gov.