The most common rental scam is when a potential renter is interested in your property. Here is how it works:
- The scammer finds your rental ad on a classifieds site.
- The scammer will contact you directly via email. There are common themes (out of country, usually the UK, commonly references God, poor spelling and grammar, email address most commonly an @yahoo address, sometimes says they are a Reverend or Doctor.)
- The property owner or property manager does not know this is a scam and replies to the email with the information.
- The Scammer replies that they would like to rent the property but will not be able to see it because they are outside of the US. They say they will send a certified cashiers check.
- The certified cashiers check is received and the total is usually $1,000 – $2,000 over the deposit and first months rent amount.
- The scammer says they made a mistake and sent too much money and asks if they can have the remaining $1 – 2 thousand sent back to them.
- It takes 2 – 3 days for any bank to recognize a cashiers check as being fake.
- The unexpected property owner or manager thinks the money is already in the bank so they have no problem wiring the excess $1 – 2K back to the “potential renter”
- The Scammer recieves the funds and is never heard of again.