Thursday, June 13, 2013

Home for Rent – 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bath, Scam Included

Several years ago, the police department established an online reporting system citizens can use to report several different types of offenses that do not require an emergency response.  Lost property reports are one of the most common reports filed online.  But on Friday, June 7, 2013, an alert citizen used the online reporting system to document a scam that she wanted others to know about and we think you should know, too.

This citizen was using an online service to search for a rental property.  She found one with an Overland Park address that sounded like it might be worth looking at further.  She sent an email asking to view the property.  What she received was an email reply with an application to enter a rental agreement.  This is where she made a good choice instead of a bad one.

Instead of filling out the application, she sent another email saying she wanted to view the property first before filling out the application.  She was suspicious by this point and decided to check the property ownership information.  She found the address in the online listing was not a good address.  There was a similar address on a different street, but that address had a totally different name listed for the property owner.  Through her own follow-up investigation she found that similar address was one that is currently listed for sale.

Now if this wasn’t enough to make her skeptical, the next contact she had from that person who “had a home for rent” made her certain there was a problem.  That all-too-anxious landlord said he was unavailable to personally show her the property, but he could mail her the keys just as soon as she completed her application.  That’s when she decided to contact us.

Rental scams like this one pop up sometimes, but now that you know the story hopefully you won’t be this scammer’s next victim.