ABC’s of Rental Scams

Let’s start with the old saying “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is” and if you practice this, no need to read any further…..

If not, here we go.

Apparently the “Nigerian Prince’s” noticing a drop in participation of their ever popular “you are the winner/heir/long lost lover/UK funds scam, have decided like many scammer’s before them to “Hell, let’s get into the Florida Real Estate Gig”

And so they have Kiddies, this is how it works:

First it starts with a Realtor’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and how we input our listings.
When we input our listings there is this “Magic” question button that states “OK to advertise” and if you say “Si/Yes“, your listing goes viral and all sorts of Real Estate sites pick up the listings.

You as the Consumer are all excited cause you get to see the listing on your site of choice, like this one.

If we say “NO/No”, (no is spelled the same in Spanish, only louder) the listing basically disappears from the world as you know it ( and only well connected aliens can see your listing.

So; “Si” good, “No” bad…

BUT “Si” also brings in the “Prince’s” and they promptly do the following.

They first “pirate” the listing and “Claim it” as their own (see MY listing at ) then once claimed they make several notable changes;

First and foremost is PRICE, they change it to some ridiculous number that reflects what it would have rented at before the advent of running water and or electricity.

In our real example above, the home rents for 5000.00 and to make thing really uncomfortable for you, it’s currently rented for a year (paid full in advance).

Second, they change the contact info to their brand new email address (see below).

Again in our real example; the previous tenants.

Third, they sit back and wait for you to call.

BUT how can they do this you say?

Simple as A, B, C….and even D.

A) They go on public records (very easy to do) and get the owners name.

B) They open an email address such as, I want all of your money@ cause you are very dumb . com

C) They pose as said owners with a variation of this story; “I am an astronaut and have been transferred to the moon, I need to rent my home ASAP.”

D) They get you to send them dough for keys and the lease (they really are not on the moon)

How can I avoid such scams, you ask?

Well the obvious answer is hire a Realtor!

But in light of the fact that you probably like us as much as having a root canal another way is to just mention the word “Escrow” to your fair prince.

Yes Kiddies, just one magic word and your Prince will turn into a frog (no need to kiss).

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