Beware: On-line Rental Ad May be a Scam

Fraudsters are using data from on-line real estate for sale ads to create rental ads that look legitimate. The real owners are unaware of the ads.

Palm Coast, FL – June 13, 2011 – Are you using the internet to find a rental home or condo? If you are, you should be aware of a growing scam. Clever fraudsters are using information found in "For Sale" ads, including pictures, to build authentic looking rental ads. The problem is that the crook doesn’t own the property and the owners are unaware of the rental activity. In many cases, the renters are told to show their lease to a locksmith and have the locks changed. Naturally, the rent plus security deposits were collected in advance.
Here are a few stories that illustrate the scam:
Renters beware. Be sure you double check all information. Be especially cautious of deals that involve your changing the lock.

2 replies
  1. Cyd Weeks
    Cyd Weeks says:

    rental ad scams

    I twice have had to report that ‘someone’ had stolen my legitimate for rent ad, changed the price on it and put it up on Craig’s List. Same scenario as you describe except they were using my rental ad. It is definitely important for renters to be VERY careful.

  2. John Boy
    John Boy says:


    Who would ever rent anything without first getting a look inside. If the Landlord gives you a lease and instrutions to get a locksmith to open the bhouse and change the locks and you go along with this, your as dumb as a box of rocks.

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