The federal Government has been bombarded with complaints about a scam aimed at people who own rental property, be it a Home, Apartment or Condo.
Here is how the scam is played out: You own a home and advertise the opportunity. A potential tenant responds and sends you a check for the deposit. You deposit this in the bank and a day or two later, you receive a call from the renter that they have backed out.
Because you have already cashed their check, you send the renter a refund from your own checking account. By then it’s too late, you receive notification that the renter’s check is no good and are responsible for the entire amount. The renter has cashed your check and moved on to the next victim.
You would think checks are verified instantly like they are at some stores – with manual deposits this is often not the case and a loophole that scammers are taking advantage of.
If you receive a deposit from a potential renter, make sure the check clears BEFORE issuing a refund, don’t be the owner of rental property who gets scammed!
If you have fallen for such a scam or believe such a scam is being played on you, notify the FBI Crime Complaint Center.