CHICAGO (CBS) — A warning has been issued for house hunters. Con artists are creating fake rental ads to steal money from unsuspecting customers.
Scammers are finding a legitimate home for rent and tricking realtors and lock box companies into giving them the lock box code with the key to the house in it.
The scammers are then posting the home on Craigslist, altering the contact information, and giving out the lock box code to potential renters so they can see the home without an agent. The scammers request the prospects wire a large cash down-payment. After the scammers get the money, they never contact the prospect again.
One couple lost $1,600 to con artists.
“I think it’s horrible. Why would you do this to somebody? We put our full trust in you and you did us wrong,” said Jazmine Windahl, a victim of the renters scam.
Experts say if you’re looking to rent a home and the rent appears to good to be true, it is most likely a scam. They warn that it is important to always meet with the person who is renting the home before wiring any cash.