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WARNING to potential RENTERS:

I’ve personally experienced single-family home rentals on Trulia​, Zillow​, Craigslist, etc. to be ripe with scammers looking to rip potential renters off.

One of the most popular scams involves posting under-market homes for rent. This happened recently to our company’s listing in Torrance. I talked with a few potential renter’s who were enticed by a below market listing that was a duplicate of ours. Apparently, a fake agent had reproduced our listing on Trulia at a rental value $1,600 below the listing price! The listing appeared professional, with high-quality photos included. They waited until someone showed interest in the property, and then tried to convince them to wire a deposit to their bank in order to hold the rental. The “agent” likely received numerous calls. After all, all they need is one unsuspecting potential renter.

HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS TO PROTECT YOUR MONEY:

1. Never wire a deposit without first confirming the validity of the listing. Ex., the aforementioned fake agent said they lived out of state and once they received the rental deposit, they would send the rental keys.
2. Be cautious of under market rental listings. It could be a tactic to lure those hoping they’ve found a great deal. Be leery of an offer that’s to good to be true.
3. Immediately notify Trulia, Zillow, or the rental website to help them police those who seek to prey on others.

Best regards,
South Bay Property Management Pros

UPDATE:

Zillow and Trulia has reached out to South Bay Property Management Pros to encourage potential renters to check out the Trulia and Zillow rental scam pages as a resource: Here are their URLs:

https://support.trulia.com/hc/en-us/articles/206731187-Rental-Listing-Scams-Read-Before-You-Search

http://www.zillow.com/wikipages/Beware-of-Scams-and-Other-Internet-Fraud/

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It is illegal, pursuant to the Federal Fair Housing law, 42 U.S.C.A. 3601, as amended, to refuse to sell, transfer, assign rent, lease, sublease or finance housing accommodations, refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of housing accommodations, or otherwise deny or make unavailable housing accommodations because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status as defined in Section 4112.01 of the Revised Code, ancestry, military status as defined in that section, disability as defined in that section, or national origin or to so discriminate in advertising the sale or rental of housing, in the financing of housing, or in the provision of real estate brokerage services. It is also illegal, for profit, to induce or attempt to induce a person to sell or rent a dwelling by representations regarding the entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons belonging to one of the protected classes.

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