Rental Scammers On the Prowl During Pandemic

Kristin Diaz
May 13, 2020 - 2:22 pm

    DALLAS (KRLD) - As many leasing offices remain closed due to Coronavirus restrictions, crooks are taking this time to lure you into false property rentals to steal not only your cash but your identity as well. Rania Mankarious is the Executive Director of Crime Stoppers in Houston and says this is a trick that thieves are using all across the country.

    She says the Better Business Bureau has seen a 10% increase in rental scams since the start of the pandemic. She speaks with KRLD’s Kristin Diaz about the downside of not being able to walk through a property during these times. Many leasing agents are sending photos and videos of their properties to prospective buyers and renters.

    Unfortunately, this trend gives people the confidence to trust con artists who try to do the same thing—but with properties that are either nonexistent or already owned by someone else. She says don’t fall for it. You do have the right to see a property if you so choose, to so as long as you are wearing the proper protective equipment.

    Ultimately, she says if the deal seems too good to be true—It probably is. She also advises that if you should fall victim to a rental scam, report it immediately. Don’t be embarrassed. Sharing your story, she says, is the best way to find the criminals and help someone else from falling victim as well.