When being asked for rent money up front, ask for a BRE license number. Prepaid Rental Listing Services have to have BRE #'s. Many people don't know to ask for and look up a BRE (Bureau of Real Estate) license number. You can also look up Real Estate agents, Real Estate Appraisers, Mortgage Lenders, "Payday Lenders", Escrow Agents, Foreign Banks (state or international), Trust Companies, and more.
Here's the link to look up the many different kinds real estate licenses:
It's the law that licensed professionals have to give you their license number right away. Don't be shy about asking for a license number.
Monika Thomas, Realtor
call or text (415) 572-2670
Better Homes & Gardens Mason-McDuffie
One Daniel Burnham Court 260-C
San Francisco CA 94109-0463
CA DRE 01918034
Here are some good tips on how prevent yourself from being scammed:
Don't forget to 'Flag' the listing so that Trulia's moderators can remove the listing.
When we insisted we needed to do a walk through, he tried to put us off by saying he needed more personal information from us, including references so his "solicitor" could draw up a lease (we figure this is for two reasons: to see if we are legit, AND to be able to steal our identities and any monies should we back out).
Paul Hart 415-689-8611