mask2Reports are surfacing once again relative to rental housing scams. Awhile back GSREIN alerted its members that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had issued a consumer alert affecting real estate listings in a rental housing scam.

The scam involves Criminals searching Web sites that list homes for sale. They take the information in those ads – lock, stock and barrel – and post it, with their own e-mail address, in an ad on other real estate sites (without the sites consent or knowledge) under the housing rentals category. Reported sites include Craigslist and Trulia.

Big Tipoff: The houses are almost always listed at below market rental rates.

Potential renters might then be asked to fill out credit applications asking for personal information like credit history, social security numbers, birthdates, and work history. Criminals can use this information to commit identity fraud and steal money from their victims.

 If it sounds too good to be true, check it out.

Before you give anyone your personal information, drive to the address. Is there is a Realtors ‘For Sale’ sign on the lawn? Contact the agent to inquire if the house is also for rent.

Tips to help sidestep would-be scammers:

Never Give Out Financial or Personal Information – bank account, social security number, birth date, eBay/PayPal info, etc., until you know who you are doing business thief2with.

Do Not Submit to Credit Checks or Background Checks for housing until you have met the Landlord or Agent in person.

Do Not Rent Housing Without Seeing The Interior, Or Purchase Expensive Items Sight Unseen – in all likelihood that housing unit is not actually for rent and that cheap item does not exist.

Never Wire Funds Via Western Union, Moneygram Or Any Other Wire Service

Fake Cashier Checks & Money Orders Are Common, And Banks Will Cash Them And Then Hold You Responsible

Avoid Deals Involving Shipping or Escrow Services – and know that only a scammer will “Guarantee” your transaction.

If you are a Realtor, you may wish to consider signing up for Google Alerts ( for each listing in order to get an email anytime that address is posted on a Website.

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

U.S. Federal 


Report these cases to the Attorney General’s Office. Call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-351-4889 or click the Consumer Complaint Form below to file electronically: Consumer Complaint Form (electronic)

Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Section P.O. Box 94005 Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9005


If you suspect that a Craigslist post may be part of a scam, submit details to Craigslist send us the details .


If you suspect that a Trulia post may be part of a scam, submit details to Trulia Legal Department, dmca@trulia.comor contact (415) 648-4358.


If you are defrauded by someone you’ve met in person, contact your local police department.

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About Joyce Albert

Why you need a Real Estate Consultant, not just another Agent… The difference between a real estate agent and a real estate consultant is the difference between someone who just wants to make a sale, and a professional who is willing to share with you their in-depth knowledge of the market in order to help you navigate one of the largest financial decisions of your lifetime. In my career as a real estate consultant, putting my clients first is the hallmark of my success. So if you are looking for a true professional to help you buy or sell a home in the Greater New Orleans Area, please contact me. I look forward to woing with you. Certified 203k Specialist I am a certified FHA-203k Specialist - a program designed to assist buyers wanting to purchase distressed properties (hurricane damaged, repos, short sales) that require repairs or major rehab. Accredidations -  Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)  e-Certified  Short-Sale & Foreclosure Certified (SFR) Other Memberhips. . .  Louisiana Association of Realtors  New Orleans Metropolitan Assn of Realtors (NOMAR)  Gulf South Real Estate Information Network  National Assn of Realtors (NAR) of Realtors (NAR)  Real Estate Board of Accredited Buyer Consultants (REBAC)
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