This has been around in various forms for years. In the "olden days", rental prospects used to be able to get keys from the office and view properties on their own. The scam THEN was to make duplicates, put an ad in the paper and RErent the property and collect as much move-in monies as possible and then leave town before the new renters were the wiser....
S.F. apartment rental scam nets guilty plea
I just read this story about a woman, Rachael Marie Smith, who has been running a rental scam in San Francisco.
The more people who know about this type of thing, the better. It appears she has been posting Craigslist ads to rent her apartment in the 5600 block of California Street near 18th Avenue. And SHE's the current Renter!
About 18 people signed leases with Smith, and each gave her a $5,600 check for the first month's rent and security deposit, authorities said.
Here's the link to the SFGate Article. This sounds suspiciously similar to a Chinese woman who was running the same sort of scam, but collecting $$ for credit checks.
You need to be careful with Craigslist ads. Know who you're talking to. Better yet, consult a trusted Realtor who can guide you around this sort of Scam.
John M Scott, Broker / Owner, Century 21 Scott Keys Properties, Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB), serving San Francisco and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM * GIBSON MANAGEMENT GROUP, Ltd.
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