Rental Listing Scam Hits Savannah Couple - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Rental Listing Scam Hits Savannah Couple

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cImagine sitting in your living room and looking up to find someone peeking in your window. That's exactly what one local couple is experiencing after someone posted their home for rent as part of a scam. Though the target of the scam is actually the potential renter - the couple whose home is being used as part of that scam has found their lives upended by the constant arrival of strangers at their doorstep checking out their house as a potential future home.

It was just two weeks ago that the Williams family were first approached. Joan says an SUV pulled up in front of their house and a family started walking up her lawn, "Came to the door and I said what's going on - she said we came to rent the house. I said - came to rent the house? So she said yeah - I said where did you get that from?" Joan says he woman explained she'd seen it on a website - listed for rent for five hundred dollars, "I said no - I said we live here you know - so I told her - I said no -it's not for rent." But they weren't the last, says Joan, "After they left - later on in the afternoon - another car came."

And more and more after that. Arthur Williams says, "From yesterday and the day before, at least six people."

They found the ads on Trulia and Craigslist - managed to get the one on Trulia removed...Arthur says they're having a harder time reaching Craigslist, "They have the house listed and they have pictures of every room in our home and they yard and that was kinda scary." Potential renters are apparently told the owner lives out of the country - they should just go take a peek in the window and send a deposit in order to be mailed the keys. "That's not a good thing to see - someone peeping in and see - they're unaware of what's going on - you in the house watching them come up and look in through your window," says Arthur. Joan says its changed the way they live, "We just opened the blinds this morning - but we usually keep them close too, because you don't know who's going to peep through it."

Metro Police say this type of Rental Listing Scam is a growing problem. They offer this advice to avoid becoming a victim.

1) If it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn't.

2) Scammers usually want to conduct business over the telephone and/or email. There is always a reason they are offering such a deal. There usually is some urgency to get people to respond.

3) Never rent (or buy) something you have not seen and checked out yourself, or have someone else do it for you.

4) Never pay money in advance if you have not received the product (ie: keys, deed, etc.)

5) If dealing with property, Google the address and see if it has been listed lately (usually by another company.)

6) Finally, ride by the house and see if the sign in front of the property matched the name of the party you are negotiating with. If not, something's wrong.

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