Top Rental Scam to Watch Out For in 2014
It's no surprise that con artists are waiting in the wings to take advantage of people trying to find affordable housing in a wounded housing market. Las Vegas property managers and savvy landlords are continuing to remain vigilant as a rush of scammers take advantage of a bad economy. Here's the top rental scam to watch out for 2014, and how you can help protect yourself.
Vacant home + False Owner = Vicious Scam
Vacant Las Vegas homes that are results of foreclosures and short sales often give fake owners a place to run their cons. According to a past story in the Las Vegas Sun, a scam artist found abandoned properties, created online advertisements posing as the owner, and rented the properties. Naturally, the scammer requests security deposits and rents to be paid in cash and is gone. By the time the victims learn what's happening, they've lost their money and their out a home while a criminal has pocketed their cash.
Protect yourself by confirming the identity of the owner. Verifiable identification and taking the time to research them online will save you tons of grief and money loss later. You should also ask for references and then take the time to follow up with those references. And even though a scammer can provide false references, asking lots of questions will usually trip them up. If they seem reluctant to provide references or all of them look or sound suspicious, don't rent! Ethical property managers in Las Vegas will gladly provide you with verifiable references before you sign any paperwork.
Be sure to obtain copies of all official documents. A good scammer can make business cards and even give you applications with official looking logos on them. Legitimate Las Vegas property management companies will always provide you with identification and documentation proving they're an authentic business.
Most importantly, be wary of anyone who will only accept cash as 90 percent of criminals operate this way. Con artists prefer to operate with cash so as not to have the paper trail of cashing a check.
When all else fails, just follow your gut. If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't.
If you or someone you know has come in contact with rental fraud, call the police and report them immediately. You can also report them online as well to help prevent them from attempting to swindle other victims. If you'd like more information about how to detect rental scams call the Las Vegas Property Management Team at (800) 308-6291.
Simply Property Management – Paielli Realty, Inc.
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