Rental Housing Scams:  Fort Dodge Resident Recalls Close Call

If something sounds too good to be true.. it probably is. 

That’s a lesson Fort Dodge resident Jessica Webb learned as she was trying to find a good rental home for herself and her children:

“So I’m looking around and I find this beautiful house and I love the front yard, the backyard, the picture window,” Webb said. “The guy wanted me to fill out the application, sent that to him and I was like when can I see it and he said, ‘well you have to send me the deposit’.”

Webb said the request for money sight unseen left her feeling uneasy so she contacted a Realtor friend who checked on the address and discovered although the home was a real one, the man asking for deposit money was not the listed owner.

Webb said that she never talked to anyone verbally.

“You could only text,” she said. “Every time that you did call it would go to this person is not accepting phone calls at this time.”

She said it was when she figured out that this was a fraudulent situation he started laying it on thick:

“Just the way that he would send me a picture of himself and say you can look me up,” Webb said. 

Panic over getting into a good rental property may make some people feel desperate. Webb advised to slow down and make sure what you’re being told is the truth.

If you are looking for a rental property make sure you are able to view the property, never send money in order to “hold” a property and do a background check on the owner of the house to make sure it has not been hijacked by a scam artist.

If you ever feel like you are the target of fraud contact your local police department.

You can also submit your information into the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker

online AT https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker

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