A recent KOMO article sent a warning about scammers posting bogus rental listings on reputable websites. Of course, victims can lose thousands of dollars – “criminals try to get your money quickly and get away before you realize there isn’t any property behind it,” says Bridget Small with the Federal Trade Commission.
A home I listed for sale last week became a target for scammers. A friend notified me that she had come across the home on a Facebook Market ad that advertised the home for rent for $500. When she reached out to the “landlord” he made up a story about being out of town, taking the home off the market (“ignore the for sale sign in front”, he said) and not being able to actually show her the property. She shared the scammers email with me and I sent off a note to him as well and received a similar story. I asked him for his phone number, no response. I’m left wondering how far along you have to get in his process before he asks for an actual exchange of money but you know that will be a wire transfer to an account that will have a temporary existence and can’t be traced. I did report the “scam” to Facebook and made sure that those who attended the open house over the weekend were buyers not renters (being scammed).
Bottom line: If you see something advertised that’s to good to be true, it is!