Sevara, Renter in Los Angeles, CA

Hi - I want to make sure that the property owner is NOT a FRAUD/Identity Theft Individual - How can I know that???? Do you do a back ground check?

Asked by Sevara, Los Angeles, CA Tue Jun 28, 2011

So Im searching for an apartment for rent and found: 1 Bedroom Apartment on 603 Ocean Avenue that is advertised here on your web-site, have been emailing back & forth with the property owner (Jeff Blau) that is asking for the 1st Month & Deposit to be sent to him prior seeing the UNIT? How do I know how legite he is?

Help the community by answering this question:


Always view the property first.

too often we have people who have been scammed by people using our own listings at our office's own rental division coming in saying "well, I sent in the money! I want my keys!" and are left crying in our lobby when we tell them "we have never heard of you, where did you find out about that? we rented that property (x) months ago!"

Take the advice of Mr Carney-
Send nothing till you have seen the inside of the property.

Even if it was a legit listing, you (or a trusted confederate like a friend, or a real estate agent in your employ) still need to see the property before you even put an application upon it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 28, 2011
Send nothing until you have been allowed to look at the apartment! Common sense here, ask them who is the agent for this property since it has been placed on Trulia! Ask for the agent to submit a property card from the county website as proof or search the county records yourself and be sure the owner is as they say, ask for Identification when you go to see the unit and go with a friend and a camera!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 28, 2011
Rental fraud is very common and there is no legitimate reason for you to send money prior to viewing a place. If the home is listed here on Trulia, contact a local agent who does rentals and have them verify it's in the multiple listing service and is a legitimate listing.
Do not send money without fully verifying everything and seeing the unit. A deal that's too good to be true probably isn't and you probably can't afford to lose your money.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 28, 2011
Hi Sevara,
I strongly recommend you not send any money without a signed lease. Does not sound legit to me.
Good luck,
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 28, 2011
No, don't send any money until you see the apartment and you sign a lease agreement. You can also check in public records his name against the owner of property. You may also check if he is current with his loan or if he's gone into foreclosure. I've seen owners in default rent their property, collect rent and don't pay the mortgage and you may be asked to leave. If you'd additional help, please let me know.

Elizabeth Sorgen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 25, 2012
It's a scam.

Communicating via e-mail with a request that money be sent prior to viewing the unit (or even after viewing the unit): Definite scam.

How to avoid that in the future: An initial e-mail contact is OK. But then you've got to meet the person. And don't be afraid to ask for ID from the person you're meeting. Never wire money to anyone. (That's kind of sad; it used to be OK. But now it's a red flag.)

Also, if the price seems too good to be true (you didn't say it was, but I'll bet it sounded like a real bargain), there's probably something wrong.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 29, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
Always beware when anyone asks for up-front payment. You can always look up the representative as long as they hold a real estate license on . Also, any good Realtor can look up title and see who the actual owner is to ensure you are working with the right person. I always google the name and check the scam reports. You should usually trust your instinct. You obviously aren't comfortable with it which is why you are asking, so trust yourself.

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 29, 2011
Thank you all that have responded to my Question! I really think that a POSTING ON THIS WEBSITE for: 603 Ocean Avenue Unit#502 is a FRAUD!!!! The house "owner" or whoever is using "Jeff Blau" identity sounds VERY suspicious so I would like to MAKE other AWARE of this individual, how do I report him in???? How do I MAKE SURE that NO ONE gets INTO this individual's fraud???? Is there a place I can report him too??? Please let me know your thougths!!!! Thank you, Sevara
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 29, 2011
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