Several local consumers in North Alabama have been caught up in rental scams. Consumers are reporting to the BBB that after responding to online listings they are offered a deal that is too good to be true.
Just last week a consumer was offered a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house in Northeast Huntsville for $600 a month with utilities included for the first 6 months. Also, enticing was the fact that it was a lease to own. Giving the house and location this is well under valued. Too good to be true? Yes.
Just so happens there is a sale sign out front and the consumer called the Real Estate Agent only to find out this was a scam. The home is not being rented or leased.
BBB is hearing more and more about these hijacked listings. Scammers are going on local MLS sites, picking good looking properties, using the photos that are there and making up their own ad on sites such as Craigslist. One of the red flags is this is all done by emails. There is an excuse about why you can’t get a key to look inside; there is an excuse as to why you have to submit all the information requested before you can see inside; and there is an excuse as to why you have to wire transfer the money before you can get in the house.
BBB offers the following tips to avoid housing scams: