There has been an uptick in rental scams specifically within the Houston area. With the higher rental prices, this makes it a hotbed for rental scammers. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for rental rates on homes that are significantly lower than market value.
Our mission is to educate renters, property managers, agents and owners on the many different types of rental scams that are on the internet today.
The only way to defeat scammers is by eliminating their economic incentives to continue scamming. We feel, through education, we can accomplish this goal.
For rental scam questions, you can now ask them on the rentbits.com In The Know section. The community will help answer rental scam questions in the effort to help educate the public on the new scams entering the market.
From the MyNewPlace blog:
Local alleged lump of human garbage Rachael Marie Smith has been arrested for using Craigslist to scam potential renters out of their deposits. Ms. Smith advertised her apartment on Craigslist, accepted deposits from several renters and then postponed their move in date, claiming that her mother was sick with cancer.
The scam was uncovered when one woman who signed a lease with Ms. Smith but could then not get in touch with her new’ landlord.’ She mentioned her troubles to a coworker, who, lo and behold, was having the same difficulty with the same woman and had heard the same sob story. The two women hired a lawyer, who also had clients complaining of the same scam and the police were called.
Ms. Smith is accused of stealing a total of $20,000 from at least four renters. Police also think that others may have fallen prey to the hoax and encourage anyone who has been defrauded to call Inspector John Monroe at 415.553.1936.
We collect a lot of data on rental scams and we find there are correlations between rental scams and large cities. A likely explanation of this is because of the substantial amount more renters and traffic that are in these larger cities. For scammers, it is a numbers game. The more renters they can get to respond to the ad, the higher their chances of completing the scam.
Below is a list of the top cities with the highest level of scam activity.