South Bend Police issue warning on real estate scam
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The South Bend Police Department is informing the public of a real estate scam where prospective tenants are being asked for payments on properties that the scammers do not own.
The rental posting scams have been found on Zillow and Craigslist.
Scammers are typically asking for the following kind of payments:
- First month’s rent
- First and last month’s rent
- An application fee
- Background checks
The Department says that the scammers usually ask you to pay via cash apps, wiring money or cash cards.
The Department has released some helpful tips for anyone seeking to occupy a rental property:
- Tour the property in person, including the inside and meet the landlord
- Look into the owner/real estate company online and make sure they actually own the property
- Pay via a paper check, not an online/phone app or gift card
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
They also released some red flags to watch out for:
- If the property is too cheap
- If the “owner” cannot show you the inside of the property
- If they ask for money before you sign a lease
- If they do not make you sign a lease
If you have any information about any related scams in the area, you are encouraged to contact the South Bend Police Department Investigative Bureau by calling 574-235-9263.