Consumer Bob helps to save you money and time

Face-To-Face Meeting Beats Scam Artists

Avoiding online rental schemes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    If you plan to rent a home or apartment, make sure you meet the landlord or property manager in person.

    Too many scam artists are using online ads to rip off renters.

    Face-to-Face Meeting Beats Scam Artists

    [DGO] Face-to-Face Meeting Beats Scam Artists
    If you plan to rent a home or apartment, make sure you meet the landlord or property manager in person because these days, many scam artists are using online ads to rip off renters. NBC 7's Consumer Bob reports. (Published Friday, Sep 13, 2013)

    "They're collecting your personal information," said Sheryl Reichert with the San Diego Better Business Bureau.

    The BBB hears from people who thought they were getting a great deal on a home but after they fill out an online application and send money, the landlord never gets back to them. Fraud experts say those phony landlords are usually collecting money and financial information.

    "When you are disclosing your personal finance information, you want to know who you are giving it to, and be clear one what they are going to be using it for," said Reichert.

    San Diegan Ed Terrell found a perfect apartment on Craigslist.

    "Just a phenomenal price," said Terrell.

    But, he got scared when they started asking personal questions.

    "Name, date of birth, mother's maiden name," he said.

    Terrell never actually met anyone in person. The whole transaction was carried out through email.

    They wouldn't even show him the apartment until he gave them his information so they could run a credit check. Terrell thinks it was all a hoax.

    "I think they are just completely taking advantage of people who are in dire need," said Terrell.

    Sheryl Reichert says you have to meet landlords and rental agents face-to-face before ever exchanging money or information.

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