He also instructed her to send a money order in the amount of $1,250. However, the woman’s suspicion amped up when he quoted her a monthly rental rate of $1,250. She did some research on her own and found multiple listings of the property elsewhere at a rate of $1,850 a month. “Had he probably never said the rate wrong, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about sending the money,” she said.
“I clicked on that I was interested, got a text message back to call a telephone number,” woman said. One of Chambers’ clients, who asked not to be identified, detailed how a fake landlord nearly fooled her. It started when she found an apartment she liked on Facebook Marketplace.
The number had an Arizona area code. The man who answered instructed the hopeful renter to email him images of paycheck stubs and her ID. He also wanted to verify her employment – all items one might expect in the process of vetting a potential tenant. “It is very disheartening that people are in situations where they’re potentially losing their money,” Vernesha Chambers with Star Quality Realty said recently.
“Anything that you can think of, people are trying to sell or make money off of,” Chambers lamented. “If they can put it on the Internet, chances are someone can hijack the information and try to abuse it.” Her concern about imposters wasn’t just about money, but safety as well. She said the scolding didn’t do any good. The same person or people tried to do the same thing to one of her cousins.
“I finally just told him that I know that he was doing a scam and he should be ashamed of himself,” she continued. That wouldn’t be the only red flag: The man would only communicate with her electronically or by phone. When she insisted on meeting him in person: “He just began to give me excuses about his daughter had COVID, he wasn’t allowed to leave the house.”
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