Scams have been surfacing around the real estate industry for quite some time and now Baton Rouge is one of its present target areas! It’s been discovered, that there are scam artist posing as homeowners attempting to lure innocent citizens into becoming their victims to steal their funds.
How are they doing it? The scam artists pull home listings from various websites and adjust it as their own and list the homes as rental properties. They allure you with attractive photographs of properties that may or may not be on the market for rent. Once you respond to their article, they will ask for personal information, tell you that they want you as a tenant and request you to wire your deposit check. Please understand this is not a normal process!!!!
What you should know? As a licensed Broker, I highly recommend you to speak with your local Realtor® or Property Manager about standard procedures in renting property. Most property owners will not ask you to wire deposit checks to them before actually viewing the property, signing a legal contract and having a face to face visit with themselves or their property manager. If you suspect any suspicious behavior, you should immediately contact your police department and news station. Unfortunately, acts like this almost never get caught, however shinning the light on their illegal actions will at least help the public become more cautious and aware of bogus transactions.
How to avoid Real Estate Scam?
- Contact a licensed Realtor® before beginning your home search
- Contact your legal advisor
- Ask to view the property before signing a contract
- Request a contact name and call back number
- Request a face to face visit with whom you’ve spoken to or with their property manager