Consumer Alert: Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit Issues Warning on Craigslist Rental Property Scam

Scam targets tornado victims

OKLAHOMA CITY – May 29, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Scott Pruitt issued a consumer alert Tuesday after realtors in the Oklahoma City area reported fraudulent activity on Craigslist.

The scam involves criminals, most likely overseas, pulling legitimate home sale information from realtor websites and posting it on Craigslist as rental property. The scammers ask renters to wire money to rent the property, but the money never reaches a realtor and the property turns out not to be for rent.

The scam increased significantly following recent tornadoes in Oklahoma with several homeowners looking for rental property while they wait to repair or rebuild their homes.

The Oklahoma Board of Realtors notified the Attorney General’s Office Tuesday after receiving a complaint from a family in Florida who thought they had rented property in the Oklahoma City area for family members who lost their home. A quick review of rental listings on Craigslist revealed several fraudulent rental properties.

The AG’s Public Protection Unit said Oklahomans should not wire money to rent property. Ideally, it would be best to see the property and make the monetary transaction in person.

For a copy of the AG’s Oklahoma Disaster Scam Prevention Packet or to fill out a consumer complaint form, go online to www.oag.ok.gov or call (405) 521-2029.

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