Corporate Housing Solutions | February 15, 2018
Denver has become a hot-bed for rental scams recently. This is something that happens in almost all major metropolitan areas, but scammers focus heavily on metro areas that are experiencing housing crunches because people become desperate in their housing search, making them easy victims. Fox News profiled a victim recently,
"Sean Donovan said he couldn't believe his luck when he found a $460,000 house on Craigslist just 15 minutes from downtown.
The rent was only $850 a month. Similar homes can go for $3,000 a month.
The rental agreement he received looked legitimate and the man renting the home even provided a credible looking passport for identification.
Before wiring a deposit and first month's rent, Donovan decided to ask a real estate expert he knew to check things out.
Kevin Fletcher of Exit Realty in Cherry Creek quickly warned Donovan that the deal was not legitimate.
Fletcher did some research and found the name on the fake landlord's passport matched that of the owner of the home, but the picture was fake.
He also found a different agent had already listed the home for sale.
“I felt like a fool. Honestly, I've been talking to this guy for a week now getting the logistics set to send this money. Everything was just fake,” Donovan said." (FOX 31)
If you notice, theses scammers are in it for the long haul, as noted in the above article they will drag you along for weeks and will do everything to make this transaction look as legitimate as possible in the eyes of a potential target.
If you have doubts about a certain listing, flag it so it can be removed. This is to prevent others who may not be aware of the scam too become embroiled in someones con-game online.
Short-Term Rental Scams in Denver
People need to be wary of these types of scams. Here is a list of things to look out for when looking for a short-term rental or even long-term rental to avoid being scammed like Sean in the above article.
1. Search for rentals on credible property management websites such as CorporateHousingSolutions.com
2. When searching on Craigslist or similar classified websites recognize that scammers target these sites exclusively
3. Do your due diligence and check out the background of the landlord also, they do it to you, and you should return the favor to avoid costly scams
4. Know the market and pricing of rentals in your area, if something is below market value then it is most likely a scam
5. If possible never send cash to a potential landlord, use a check that can be canceled with a phone call if something looks fishy
6. Put the address in Google and search for it and see if it is listed elsewhere and if there are different listing agents