Scammers Targetting Renters In Permian Basin 9/5/12
CBS 7 News
September 5, 2012
Odessa, Tx - Finding A house or an apartment can be virtually impossible.
That may be why scammers have zeroed in on the Permian Basin, offering deals that "appear" to be the answer so many are looking.
These scammers are stealing pictures of homes that are actually for sale in the Permian Basin.
But on their on-line ad, they claim they are for rent.
For example a half million dollar home was advertised as a rental, just 800 dollars a month. But it was all fake.
Eddie Garcia with Deriso and Haynes Realty says they get calls at least twice a week from people asking if A home they saw on Craig's List is for rent.
In fact the company doesn't even handle rental properties. Garcia says scammers are taking pictures of the homes from the appraisal district website and using them to trick buyers into thinking the home is for rent, He says scammers will even pretend they are the owner.
Victims who prefer to stay off camera tell us the scammers claim to be from out of town, and they need a large down payment, wired to them to complete the deal.
Cristen Gill and her family just moved to West Texas. She understands the pressure to find A house in a very tight market.
Law enforcement say it's hard to track because many of these scammers are from out of the country.
The Better Business Bureau tells consumers to look for these red flags.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Scammers often list a rental for a good price to lure victims in.
Be cautious if the landlord is located in another town and prefers to communicate via email.
It's not a good sign if the landlord requires a large deposit.
The BBB says they usually ask the renter to wire money.