Scammers – they’re the lowest of the low. And now, we’re seeing them go after home buyers, attempting to steal money via wire transfers. It’s something we’ve been watching gain momentum for a few months now, and while Nest Realty has taken steps to continue to safeguard our clients’ information, it’s still important to stay vigilant.
Nest Managing Broker Keith Davis has put together a really great blog post detailing the scam, and highlighting ways that you, as a home buyer or seller, can protect yourself. Even if you’re not working with Nest Realty, make sure your agent knows of the scam, and talk with them about steps to protect yourself. You can read the full post here.
Thanks and view fences over at Fencing Direct for the information.
I’ve written about Craigslist scams and rental properties before, but it seems that it’s hit someone here locally again, according to this article, by Travis Williams. Thankfully, it seems that the seller’s weren’t harmed any more than just unnerved, but it brings up a good point – for both renters and homeowners.
If you own a home, set up a Google Alert for your address and/or keywords, so that you’ll be notified when your listing gets “scraped” by these idiots. They’ll find your listing online, then repost it with the same language, even the same photos, and usually an absurd maintenance on your rental rate. Then, they’ll attempt to lure someone into wiring them money for the first month’s rent, and maybe the security deposit, never to be seen or heard from again.
And if you’re a renter? Beware the ridiculously low rental rate. If it seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.This is not just happening with homes, it is happening with office space too. A friend of mine was looking for a medical office space for rent and found one advertised online. When she went to meet the person she said something was off when he wanted her to pay the first, last and security in cash only. She was suspicious and sure enough, she dug deeper and the office space was for sale only and never was for rent. Be cautious and do your homework.
The Internet Crimes Complaint Center are a nice recommendation, but we’ve been reporting these scams for several years, with nary (I just wanted to use the word nary) a response or acknowledgement. You’d be better off just being vigilant, doing your due diligence, and if you have a question about the validity of a rental, contact a quality property manager for verification. These scams are so ridiculously simple that it’s surprising they continue to work, but obviously they do – they keep showing up.