Rental listing scams continue to flourish in 2020, especially thanks to websites like Craigslist where anybody can post anonymously. A scammer can live anywhere in the world and have the ability to scam anywhere in the United States.
How does a scammer create fake rental listings? They use websites like Zillow and Realtor.com to find legitimate properties for rent that have photos and property descriptions.
Scammers can then grab those photos of properties online and use them to make their property listing. They can also hijack legitimate rental listings, including the exact description, to create fake listings. These fake listings look real enough lure unsuspecting renters.
How Do Rental Listing Scams Work?
A typical scam rental listing will start by luring people to respond to the ad with the promise of rent that is less than the rent of comparable properties in the same area.
The scammer will tell the renter that they are out of town and encourage them to check out the property in person. If the renter views the property or responds that they are willing to see it sight unseen, the scammer will send over a realistic rental application and then arrange payment over wire transfer or another online payment service.
Once the payment has been sent, the scammer will never be been heard from again. The renter will usually show up at the rental property ready to start renting, only to realize after speaking with the real owner or manager of the property that they’ve been scammed. The ‘lease’ they signed with the scammer is worth nothing and their money is gone.
What’s The Best Way That Landlords Can Protect Themselves From Scams?
Owning a rental property has never been more difficult. There are a wide variety of responsibilities that require a landlord’s time and attention, not the least of which is watching out for scams based off your rental property
Thankfully, hiring a property management company can save owners the time, money, and hassle of managing their rental properties themselves while protecting those owners from scams.
Property managers will protect landlords from scams by adding their watermarks to photos of the rental property so that those photos can’t be used by anyone but the property management company.
The manager will also monitor rental property websites for fraudulent listings and notify the authorities if scam listings appear online. This way, the action is taken quickly to remove the fake listing and bring the scammer to justice if possible.
Owners who hire professional property management can have confidence in knowing that their property manager is looking after their best interests with the goal of screening and placing qualified tenants that will pay their rent consistently every month.
Contact GoldenWest Management
At GoldenWest Management, we take pride in providing personalized property management service and excellent support for all of our owner clients and tenants.
If you’re thinking about hiring a property management company, or you’re ready to get started with our services, contact us today by calling (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.