The Real Deal Miami

Rental scams abound

July 17, 2009 01:38PM

Property managers say rental fraud abounds in Florida, and warns that online advertisements are among the most common medium for the crime. The most common scheme sees criminals fraudulently lift legitimate rental property data from listings, change the contact phone numbers and/or email addresses, and advertise the rental on Craigslist. They charge below-market rates and require one month’s deposit and one month’s security. Consumers, attracted by the low rate, complete the deal online even without access to the property. Jon Lioncourt, an administrative assistant with Watson Property Management in Jacksonville, warns that if an online deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, and it is essential to meet face to face to transact deals.