Scammers are using foreclosed properties and listing them online on Craigslist as available for rent. Would-be renters fill out an application, and once “approved” are asked to send money via Western Union to rent the property only to find out later that the property is foreclosed.
Watch Mary Berry’s interview on News Channel 4 as she warns Oklahomans about the growing scam.
Here are some tips to help avoid a foreclosure/renters scam:
Do not pay anyone you have not met
The best way to avoid a scam is to work with someone local you can meet in person. Never make a payment to someone you have not met and do not send funds via wire or another service like Western Union. Also, do not rent a property sight-unseen. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Never give out financial information
You should rarely, if ever, provide credit card and other financial information over-the-phone; especially to anyone you cannot verify or have not met in person. One warning sign is if the scammer is asking for a lot of personal and sensitive information up front. They could be looking to steal your information.
Do your research
Always review an online posting, especially on Craigslist, with a critical eye. Be sure to research everything that the listing mentions, including the address, any names and any companies mentioned.
Report suspicious activity or scams
Help keep other Oklahomans informed when you suspect an individual or business might be taking advantage of you or if you have been the victim of a scam. Call (405) 239-6081 to file a complaint with Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma and call local law enforcement.