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Rental Property Scams-Do Not Become A Victim

Now more than ever, scams are on the increase. Rounding out the top 5 includes Medicare & health scams, prescription drugs scams, funeral and cemetery scams, tax refund scams, and rental property scams. The common denominators are one; the collection of (your) personal information, and two; the theft of your money by the scammer. For the purpose of this blog, we are going to focus on rental property scams.

First, Avoid Craigslist

Although rental property scams can be found everywhere on social media, it has been our experience the majority of them are found on Craigslist. So, rule number one, if you are looking for credible properties to rent, avoid Craigslist. Legitimate property owners and property management companies generally do not advertise on Craigslist.

Rental Scams
Avoid Craigslist

Second, Personal Safety

Do not agree to meet anyone you do not know at a vacant property or secluded area. The “meet me at the property and we can exchange rent for keys” jeopardizes your personal safety and security. Take someone with you to preview property and do your research before any meetings. Property management legitimacy can be verified by a brick and mortal business location. Property owner legitimacy can be verified through public records.

rental shopping safety
Don't jeopardize your personal safety when rental shopping

Third, Sending Money Through the Mail in Exchange for Keys

The “I’ll mail you the keys when I receive your deposit” is a definite sign of a scam, not to mention mail fraud. Any situation demanding money upfront before you have access to a property is most likely a scam.

Forth, The Renal Application (the most deceptive)

DO NOT, we repeat DO NOT give your personal information including social security number out on a rental application until you verify the legitimacy of the property owner, or property management company. If you suspect you may be asked to fill out a fraudulent application, report the name and number to the proper authorities for investigation, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Federal Trade Commission
FTC Investigates Fraudulent Complaints

Be careful of fraudulent rental applications. The following example is most likely a scam. This is not the vernacular professional property managers use:

Lease Agreement Scam
This is most likely a scam. This is not the vernacular professional property managers use:


Looking for a rental? We have a wonderful property management division. Contact us to see if we have the right home for you. Reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter and we would be happy to speak with you about what works for you. Or, to talk to our property managers call/text today 904-494-8408 or email


About the Authors: The video "Rental Property Scams-Don't Be a Victim" was provided by Broker and Broker-Associate Gene and Libby Johnson with First Coast Realty Inc. We have built a top notch Rental Division, sure to kit everyone's need. Let us help you find the right rental. We service St Augustine, Palm Coast, Palatka, and Jacksonville areas.

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