The Lebanon Police Department is informing the community of a scam with false rental postings to classified websites. The postings list a property within the area that is for rent and includes a rental amount and contact information. Recent investigations reveal communication was through email and involves some of the following.
The owner typically says he and his wife are doing work in a foreign country and need someone to rent their home while they are away. If the victim is interested, he and/or she is to send money to the owner in the foreign country. The funds go directly to the scammer, and the would-be renter loses his and/or her money. The owner also claims to have the keys to the rental property with them and the renter would have to wait to receive the key until after he or she pays.
How to protect yourself from a scam.
Do not wire funds to people you do not know.
Call the property manager or association, if applicable, and ask about the landlord.
Know the area you are trying to rent in and drive by the location to see if there are rental signs.
Be cautious when dealing with people who say they currently live overseas or are out of the country on business. Scammers tell victims this to explain why they can’t meet in person. Be cautious also if they prefer to communicate via e-mail only.
Be cautious of rental properties that will not allow a walk through.