It’s no secret that the internet is the best place to shop for real estate. Almost everyone begins their home shopping on the net.
But keep your wits about you. There are plenty of scams out there. These are mostly targeting renters, but the dirty scammers are also targeting buyers with “rent-to-own” ads.
Here is a tip…rent-to-own is usually a bad deal , read this…The Truth About Rent-To-Own Real Estate Deals.
I have had a couple dozen calls lately from people asking about “Rent-To_Own” ads on Zillow. Because Zillow allows anyone to put their house up for sale these criminals have exploited the system. If you see a “rent-to-own” ad on Zillow, its almost certainly a scam. Just skip it and go on. Save us all a lot of time. Zillow has their own warning here.
Craigslist is another hot site for scammers. The smart scammers will research public records to find details of a house, even use the owners name, steal photos of real properties from legitimate ads and then advertise the house for rent at a below market price. Here is a hint, if the “landlord” can’t meet you at the house with their own key to show it to you…it’s a scam. Don’t send them money.
I am amazed at how hard it has been to convince some of the callers that these deals are not legit. It’s almost a surreal conversation when you find yourself talking someone out of sending their money to a “deaf missionary in the Philippines”. Of course, he can only use email because he is deaf, and the story goes on from there. Every scammer has a story.
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