Imagine renting a place, putting money down, getting ready to move in just to find out you’ve been scammed.
A woman was moving her belongings into a home on Evansville’s west side when she was told that it isn’t for rent at all, and a sign on the door way reads to beware of a scam.
“I was moving into a house and apparently I got scammed, and they didn’t own it. And I’ve been notified that I have to leave and they told me to call you guys, and file a police report,” says a 911 caller.
The sign posted to this home in the 2700 block of Maryland street reads “If you have been dealing with people other than Daymark, you may be victim of a scam. Do not send money to anyone before you are approved by Daymark in Jacksonville, Florida.”
But another post on Facebook and Craigslist is advertising the home for $725 dollars.
“The rental house that I manage… He said someone started moving their things in yesterday. Someone stole the keys out of our lock box,” says another 911 caller.
Several homes on the block including the Happes are being renovated for future renters.
“It’s very alarming what is going on, but we do rent our home through Homes For Rent on the west side, and they do a background check. So we feel pretty safe about that,” says Mary Happe.
“When it is vacated we change the locks so that is one safety feature.”
Neighbors tell me it’s a close knit neighborhood, but they have noticed activity at the home.
“There was people in and out all the time, I don’t know. There was a whole bunch of them,” says Evansville resident Kelly Mossberger.
Experts say scammers know when people are in the market and try to get your attention.
“You think this is a one in a lifetime kind of deal, but really they are just after your money,” says Oana Schneider with the Evansville Better Business Bureau.
“Do not believe them that they left the key in the mailbox and so on.”
Do not make rental payments in advance.
“Try to take five minutes of your time to do your own research about the owner and property, and so on. Just five minutes of googling things could save you a ton of money in the end.”
It may take some extra work, but it can save you some money. Experts say to search the phone number listed to check if it is registered as a scam.
Click here for a search link through the Evansville Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker.