Watch Out for Rental Rip-Offs

What's Hot

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

5 Spots Where Retirees Can Live for Less Than $40,000Real Estate

10 Ways to Pull Together the Down Payment for a HomeCredit & Debt

10 Ways to Reduce Your Homeowner’s Insurance RatesFamily

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

Home renters beware: Crooks are charging rent for property they don't own.

Freddie Mac warned earlier this week that criminals are pretending to own (and rent out) homes which are for sale by mortgage companies.

They watch foreclosure listings and when a property pops up, they start advertising it for rent on sites like Craigslist before the home sells. They ask renters for their personal info (for a “credit check,” of course) and two months’ rent, and might even provide a working key if they managed to change the locks.

Everything checks out. You quickly move in and get settled. Then the sheriff shows up at your door to reclaim the property. And the fraudster’s long gone, and may have used your info to steal your identity and open credit in your name.

Freddie Mac’s trying to identify and stop these ads as they pop up. Here’s what you can do to avoid rip-offs…

  • Check whether the property is for sale. Google the address to see if the property is listed or drive by to check for “for sale” signs in the yard. (Check to find out if Freddie Mac owns the property. If they do, report the rental ad by calling 1-800-4FRAUD-8.)
  • If there is a “for sale” sign or online sale listing, call the listing agent immediately to confirm the status of the house. (Be suspicious if you’re told by the advertiser not to call the listing agent.)
  • Verify who owns the house by checking the county property records, which are usually available online.
  • Never send personal credit information over the Internet until you have independently confirmed all of the facts about the rental property being advertised.
Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: How Does Debt Affect Survivors After a Loved One’s Death?

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,671 more deals!