Page 70 - AAGLA 2020-11
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 Member Update
Human Resources Department representative who only knows this employee by a number!
This scam works in the same way that the phony human resources scam works, except with previous landlords.
• How it Works. The tenant will provide contact information for his previous landlords. The reality is, you are really calling friends and family of your prospective tenant who are willing participants in the rental scam.
• How to Avoid Falling for This Scam. This one is a bit tricky since it’s a little more difficult to find personal contact information for individual and small-time landlords. If it is a bigger property management company or apartment building with an office, this method of verifying will be a little bit easier. You can also try physically visiting the previous address. Doing so will verify that indeed this address is a place available to rent and you can often get lucky and find a “for rent” sign with landlord contact information.
In 2018, over 5 million people were victims of rental scams. This includes “landlords” scamming prospective tenants and tenants scamming landlords. Some scam methods include:
(i) “Bait-and-Switch” - An unsuspecting lease signee and new tenant signs a lease and when they show up to move into their home they thought they rented, another completely different home is presented.
(ii)Phantom Rental - A scammer makes up a rental listing and tries to attract prospects into sending deposits with low prices.
(iii) Missing Amenities - “Landlords” and “agents” try to get tenants to sign a lease to a rental unit with missing promised amenities without them noticing.
However, among the more popular choices for scammers is the “hijacked” method.
• How it Works. This method consists in NOVEMBER 2020 • WWW.AAGLA.ORG
a scammer stealing / copying your online advertisement and pasting it on other popular digital markets where you can easily find rentals, except with their contact information instead of yours. They usually set the rental price extremely low to lure unsuspecting prospects into sending deposits to “hold” the rental or charging for application fees.
• How to Avoid Falling for This Scam. This method does not directly affect you directly as a victim of the fraud per say, but it can stain your reputation. A quick way to check for this scam is to constantly search for your property on all major platforms and Google. Another idea is to do reverse image lookup on Google to check if anyone is using your photos for “catfish” type schemes.
This might be the one that will frustrate you the most if you fall victim to it and will make you laugh the most once you get the hang of weeding them out. This scam is popular among tenants scamming landlords today.
• How it Works. A prospective tenant will call you or email you asking you all the details about your rental property. They will then explain that their company will mail you a check for your rental property, sight unseen. The scammer usually makes an insane offer such as paying you 6 months up front but they only need 3 months and you can keep the balance. The scam here is they usually try to get you to deposit one month’s rent into their account. So “the company” will pay you with a business check (that is bogus), you get to keep 5 month’s rent if you give them a month of rent back. Sounds easy, right? If you fall for this trick, you will be depositing a month’s amount of real money and receiving nothing but smoke since the check they mail you is fake.
• How to Avoid Falling for This Scam. There is no reason to ever accept more money than what your rental is being offered at. Always meet your tenant face to face and run all applicants through a thorough
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