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AARP Rental property scams

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 by The Press in News Briefs

Renting a home is often a big expense and an even bigger one when the rental is a scam.

Scammers look for easy cash by collecting first month’s rent, deposits and application and background check fees and then bolt before handing over the keys.

Numerous versions of rental frauds abound: some are bait-and-switch while others will attempt to rent out properties that are already leased or otherwise unavailable.

Leasing based on units similar to a model unit and putting money down on a place unseen is on the rise and would-be renters are being scammed out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. When renting a new place, watch out for scammers who ask you to sign before seeing anything or request payment via money wire, peer-to-peer apps or cash.

Do your research on the property and owner and read agreements carefully.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360 and speak to trained staff or volunteers for help with a fraud encounter.