Is Your Rental Property Being Hijacked Online?

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A new tech-centric scam is having a particularly strong effect in Florida.

Anything can be copied and sold online by a scammer, including entire properties. A new scam has surfaced, and it can lead to all kinds of trouble. It works like this: a scammer sees your legitimate ad for a rental online. They copy all the information and even the pictures. They then list the same property on other sites, but at a lower price. They entice online customers to pay them, then they vanish.

This scam can lead to a hassle for you, as well as a serious loss for online shoppers who thought they were paying to rent out your property. Both seller and landlord impersonation have been around for a while, but they are both now more common than you might realize.

If you own a home, be careful advertising online. Try to search up your own property and see if anyone is copying your ad elsewhere for a lower price. If you’re seeking to rent or buy, always meet the landlord or property owner in person. If a seller or landlord refuses to meet in person, that’s a serious red flag and they should be avoided. If someone suspicious claims to work for a real estate company, take their name and call the company. Also look the company up on the Better Business Bureau and other platforms to confirm their legitimacy.

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3 months ago