Angela & Erin talk about what they suggest tenants and property owners do to prepare for cold weather. Exciting stuff. Merry Christmas!
Phishing scams in the rental industry are fairly common, and if you’re not familiar with them, we want to tell you how they work and what you can do to avoid them.
How the Scams Work
Criminals scour the Internet and find legitimate ads for attractive rental homes, usually in popular neighborhoods. They copy all the information about that property, including pictures, and create a fake ad on a different website. They list their own contact information as the owner or property manager. Then, unsuspecting renters looking for a property find this great ad and contact the criminal. They end up handing over money by wire transfer or money order, and come move-in day, the criminal is long gone. That leaves the renter holding the bag, without access to the property or gaining access to a property that they aren’t legally entitled to enter.
Using Rental Websites
Phishing scams are as old as the rental industry itself. At Moxie Property Management here in Fort Worth, we avoid advertising on particular websites that we believe have a higher number of phishing scams than other sites. But criminals are really smart and each week with this hot rental market, new sites and apps are popping up. Criminals are using these newer and lesser-known sites to post ads and perpetuate the scam.
How to Avoid the Scams
As a renter, you’re searching particular neighborhoods for particular types of homes. You can realize quickly what the price points are for these properties. So if you’re looking for a three-bedroom with two bathrooms and a two-car garage in your favorite neighborhood and everything is leasing for $1,500, and suddenly you come upon a home in that neighborhood of the same size that’s $900 a month, then you know it’s too good to be true. Search that address via Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Look for other rental websites that list the same property. You may notice that there are price discrepancies and that other sites list the contact information of a property manager except for the one where you saw it listed for the lower price. The best thing you can do is to report that fake ad to the website. That will have a quick and more impactful effect on the criminal.
If you come across an ad you think is fake, don’t send money. Criminals are great at telling you what you want to hear. If you ask them why the list price on the property is lower than the neighborhood average, they will tell you that they own the property outright so they don’t have to cover a mortgage. If you ask why you are required to wire money to someone else, they will tell you it’s a spouse or a relative or a CPA. Stay level-headed and don’t fall into traps or desperate situations when you need to move quickly. Trust your gut and remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trusting that instinct will keep you out of the criminal’s trap and it keeps your money in your pocket where it belongs.
If you have any questions about how to avoid scams like this, please contact us at Moxie Property Management.
Here is our 2nd podcast. We recap the 2016 TAR Conference. Enjoy!
As a tenant, there are several things you need to do before you start looking for a new rental property. When you want to move to a new place, make sure you pay attention to the timing and the requirements of your current lease.
Give Your Landlord Appropriate Notice
The first thing you need to do is (more…)
Our topic today is the myth of the turnkey property, and how it can affect your Fort Worth investment property. I hear this phrase constantly, especially from new investors. They will call and tell me that they are closing on their first investment property, and often they’ll tell me that it’s turnkey. So, they want to know how quickly they can get a renter in there. (more…)
Today we are talking about the importance of having a property manager who handles the accounting associated with your rental property. A lot of property managers do not do any accounting on your behalf, and that’s surprising. This is a very important function that you should expect from your management company. (more…)
This blog is coming to you from the beautiful city of Atlanta, Georgia, where the Moxie Property Management team is attending the National Association of Residential Property Management annual convention. That really long association title is something we simply call NARPM. We want to talk to you about why NARPM is so important to the property management industry, and why your property manager should be a member of NARPM, no matter where in the United States you happen to be. (more…)
Today we’re tackling the very taboo subject of evictions. At Moxie Property Management, we have some bragging rights when it comes to evictions. In the last two years, we have filed only two evictions on tenants we have placed in properties. We credit our low eviction rate to the fact that the application screening process is very thorough. When owners call and their immediate concern is evictions and they worry about the number of evictions they’ve had at their own property in the last couple of years, I really start to question their screening process and whether it’s thorough. If you don’t weed out the bad apples in the beginning, you’re probably placing a bad tenant in the property from day one and that’s naturally going to turn into a problem. (more…)