By Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An exclusive CBS 3 “On Your Side” report now reveals that online scammers are trying to take advantage of people hoping to rent homes and apartments.
Remax Realtor Rich McIlhenny says half a dozen potential renters have contacted him in the past two days, trying to rent properties they saw offered online.
The problem is that McIlhenny has already sold the properties in question.
The online scammers, stealing information about them, offered the properties for rent hoping to convince potential victims to send security deposits of as much as $500.
Because the scammers have no connection to the properties, victims wont ever be able to move in or recover deposits sent in advance.
McIlhenny, who is sending an online warning about the scams, has cautioned potential renters to inspect properties inside and out. Also, he says, they should meet with either owners or rental agents, before sending any deposits or signing any agreements.
The scammers also try to lure victims into signing complex rental agreements online that ask for personal information that could be used to steal identities.
Another scam warning sign is the incredibly low rental prices offered by scammers, often less than half of what would normally be charged for the properties.