The Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS® (HAAR) is issuing a warning to consumers about an ongoing listing scam taking advantage of potential home renters. Scammers are fraudulently posting homes that are for sale on Facebook and Craigslist as rental properties. Some customers have engaged in communications with the scammers, who then encourage them to send a rental deposit electronically before ever seeing the home in person.
“With such a high demand for housing there are unfortunately those who seek to take advantage of consumers,” said Sha Jarboe, President of Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS®. “We encourage people to be diligent when searching for rental property. You can find many real rental listings at ValleyMLS.com, as well as confirm if a home you’re seeing for rent on another site may actually be for sale.”
Another precaution consumers can take is to go see the advertised rental property in person. If a “For Sale” sign is in the yard, it is a red flag the listing may have been hijacked.
Real Estate Agents can report stolen listings on Facebook, Craigslist, and to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a cyber crime arm of the FBI. Agents can file a complaint by visiting http://haar.realtors/scams.
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