Community News & Events>
Oak Island Police Department
Rental Scam Hits Oak Island Rentals
October 2, 2012
- Oak Island, NC – RECENTLY SOME OAK ISLAND HOME OWNERS
HAVE BEEN THE TARGET OF SCAMMERS WHO HAVE SUPPOSEDLY
RENTED THEIR HOMES FROM AN ON LINE SOURCE SUCH AS
CRAIGSLIST. BELOW IS A DESCRIPTION OF THE SCAM AND TIPS
ON DEALING WITH THE SITUATION.
Our area has recently seen an increase in complaints
from people who get ripped off when trying to rent a
house. Scammers are getting information on houses or
apartments that have been listed for rent and/or sale,
posing as the homes' owners, and then listing the
properties for rent on websites such as Craigslist.
When unsuspecting people reply to one of these ads, the
scammer gives them information about the house or
apartment and suggests that they drive by to take a look
at it. The prospective renter is told that he or she
won't be able to see the inside because the key is with
the property owner in another country.
The scammer then asks the renter to wire a deposit to
them overseas. Once consumers have wired their money,
they learn that the house isn't really available for
rent. The person interested in renting is out the money,
and the actual homeowner or real estate agent has no
idea that the house has been listed for rent.
In some cases, the fake landlord uses a real address
near the property for rent to try to make the scam seem
more believable. Consumers only learn that the place
isn't really for rent after they've sent their money to
To protect yourself from this and similar scams:
Be cautious when
using web referral sites.
Never agree to wire
money overseas in response to an item posted for
rent or sale online.
Be careful about
renting properties you haven't been allowed to see.
Beware of anyone who
wants you to pay a deposit on a rental property
before you've reviewed and signed a lease.
If you've been the victim
of this or a similar scam, report it to the Oak Island
Police and the website where you saw the property listed
for rent. Please also report it to Attorney General Roy
Cooper's Consumer Protection division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM
Southport, NC Hotel