The Bullhead City Police Department is warning the public about rental scams.
A woman reported that she was looking on Craiglist for a house to rent in Bullhead City. The “landlord” asked her to pay a $500 deposit via MoneyGram and then $800 rent per month. The woman became suspicious and went to the address where she found a family living there permanently.
BHCPD has also investigated a similar case where a local man who was trying to rent his Bullhead City home reported that someone fraudulently recreated his rental advertisement onto another website. This same scam has been reported nationwide where scammers steal legitimate rental or real estate listings, change the email address or other contact information, and place the modified ad on another site. The scammer then tries to obtain personal information and money by instructing prospective renters to pay for a credit report, down payment or realtor service fees, etc.
Here are some tips to avoid this scam:
· A huge red flag is if you are instructed to wire money, pay with a gift card or Bit Coins etc. Wiring money or using a prepaid debit card is just like sending cash. Once you’ve sent it, you cannot get it back.
· Research the property owner and listing.
· If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers often promise low rent and other incentives. See the property in person before giving any money or personal information.
· Scammers often claim to be out of the country and want you to send money overseas. Don’t fall for a “landlord” who says they are out of the country.
If you spot a scam, report it at ftc.gov/complaint. Your reports help the FTC and other law enforcement investigate scams and bring crooks to justice.