Classic rental scam still conning people

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by Gary Harper

Bio | Email | Follow: @GaryHarper3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 20 at 7:00 PM

PHOENIX -- Kari Marks and her husband enjoy the home they rent in North Phoenix. But like a lot of families, they're looking to save some money. 

"We thought we would look around and find a house that was a little less expensive," Marks said.

So, Marks hit the Internet and came across a home for rent that was actually in the same neighborhood and was $500 less a month.

"We thought that's probably too good to be true," Marks said, "but we should inquire anyway because weirder things have happened."

Marks emailed the owner of the house, a guy named Daniel, who said his home was empty while he was out of state doing the Lord's work.

But he encouraged her to take a look on the outside, peek through some windows and email him back.

Marks did and Daniel emailed her an application form that looked suspicious and there was no application fee, which she found odd.

Finally, Marks said there was Daniel's peculiar demeanor.

"He was very persistent," Marks said. "He would always say, 'You can trust me. I can trust you. Let's make this happen.'"

And things really got interesting when Daniel threw in this little incentive.

"He immediately said, 'I would also like to pay your utilities,'" Marks said. "I mean, who does that in the Arizona summer?"

Daniel then turned it up a notch when he asked Marks to wire him a $700 security deposit. By the way, she was supposed wire it to a guy with a different name.

Marks knew if she wired this guy anything, she would be a victim of a scam. Marks says it all added up.

She had to wire money to someone with a different name than Daniel. He sent her a suspicious-looking application form. He claimed her air-conditioning bill would be paid in full during those hot summer months. The list goes on and on.

Marks said she's glad she didn't fall for it and hopes no one else falls for this classic rental scam..

"They also like to say they will mail you the keys," Marks said. "But if they are not on the property, you should not go that route."

By the way, scammers usually find houses that they know are for sale and unoccupied in order to pull off the scheme.

Remember 3 On Your Side's motto: If you're asked to wire, then they're a liar." Being asked to wire money to someone you don't know is always a scam.

 

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