Ok guys and gals, I know we all like a great deal.... but the Scammers out there are banking on it--- literally.

Prospective tenants, home buyers, and yes even real estate investors are getting taken in by this breed of scammers that use legitmate houses and try to pass them off as their own.

Many times you pay the price by losing your deposit, down payment, earnest money, or even credit card information.

Here's a link to a great forum that I posted rental scam info on: http://www.city-data.com/forum/real-estate/870601-rental-scam-2.html

What to do? Usually if it sounds too good to be true then... (you fill in the rest).

Best practices:
Employ the help of a realtor. They should be able to tell you who owns a home and what the going rents and home values are. If it's way lower, then you know what you've got.

Appraisal district records listing the home owner/tax payer, should match the person you're dealing with.

According to the FTC http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt002.shtm and yours truly, these scammers will usually try and get you to:

1) Wire money
2) Send them a deposit before you even meet them or sign up the deal
3) Say they're out of town or out of the country so they can't meet with you face to face.

So time to stop the insanity. Report these guys to the FTC and local law enforcement.

Be safe out there


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