Rentals in Dallas>Question Details

klh11609, Renter in Dallas, TX

Reporting rental scams posted on Trulia

Asked by klh11609, Dallas, TX Thu Jul 11, 2013

I have inquired about two separate rentals on Trulia. Both have been scams. The homes show as for rent, but are actually for sale. When contacting the "owner" regarding a lease, BOTH "owners" stated that they were "away on missionary duty, doing the Lord's work" ....etc. and that for the time being I would only be able to view from the outside, as they were not able to find a trusted leasing agent before they left, and if I fill out the paperwork and return to them, they will let me know how I can get the keys. I may have been born at night, but it wasn't last night! They are using the actual owner's names, creating email accounts using the owner's name (I have verified ownership through Dallas County Appraisal District). How do we report and put a stop to these scammers? I hate to think that anyone has given out their personal information to them.

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20
Yea it's bad and I can't believe they allow this to happen in the site/app. I just wanted to see how many were in accurate since I wrote last and I have been 8 for 8 with scams. I will never use this site and I will make sure everyone around me knows trulia is a un trustable resource.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 22, 2014
Yup I have been dealing with this scam for two month. The first time they ALMOST got me. But the poor grammar, and insistence that I pay them via a WIRE (untraceable) was the giveaway.

NO LEGIT LANDLORD WILL MAKE YOU DO THIS EVER! They NEED a paper trail of payment for IRS purposes. PS. Same day approval?? Puh-LEEZE!

I inquired about two more listings and used the same email but different names for my inquires and got the SAME response VERBATIM. So I messed with them a bit. Check it out:

Divine Blessings
To Me
Today at 1:50 PM
Hello,

Hope you having a lovely and wonderful day with your happy family? Thanks for your interest in regarding our 3 bed, 2 Bath home in: - 1328 E Hermosa Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282. This is still very much available for rent at the moment. We also require a good and responsible adults/family that are neat freaks and also believe that they have all what it takes in taking very good care of our home with utmost care and concern like theirs.

Here is little more about us, we are family of four, are volunteer full-time ministers, we relocated here to Hawthorne, California to assist the local congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. We support our ministry by working secularly. We have 2 wonderful children Renee & Miles (12 & 8) But we love this freedom we have to devote ourselves to do all the important work as I'm sure you also. You are so very free to visit our website (http://www.jw.org/) to see all about. Matt. 24:14

Please do tell us more about you and your family or perhaps your experience you have in renting if you have anyone coming with you that smokes or drinks, not that we are against smoking or drinking, but please if anyone must smokes should be outside of our house for some security reason. The size of our house 1,654sq ft and very secured and specious for you and your family.

Please do feel free to tour the home today so you can view the home from the exterior part and environment to see how neat and secure it looks like from the outside, since you are not yet with the house paper permit and documented papers in hard copies which enable you view it from the inside as well when you want to move in. As soon as we hear back from you today and you are pleased with our properties can we have the Rental/Application form attach and send to you so you can have it filled out for an approval...?

Below is the address for you’re to tour our home today:- 1328 E Hermosa Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282
Pets allowed: Yes (Dog/Cat)
Rent: $900
Refundable security deposit: - $700

The month rent which is $900/month are inclusive with the utilities with the heat and Laundry facilities, air condition, Etc. and the security deposit fee is $700...YOUR PETS ARE FULLY WELCOME! We are looking forward to hear from you soon.

Thanks & Remain Blessed.

My response that got them to stop pestering me:

Me
To Divine Blessings
Today at 1:53 PM

When can I see the home on the inside?
Where is the rental application? What about my horse?


Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 10, 2014
$800 a month in Preston Hollow made me suspicious. The respondent's poor grammar, flimsy reasons for renting (she is out of state, benig transferred for 4-7 years, neighbors begged her to rent, not sell) and a few other red flags made me realize it was not on the up and up. Scammin slimeballs.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 10, 2014
Trulia is the worst about letting anyone and everyone place something on their site. Truly the best thing to do is hire a Realtor, in most cases it is free and you will have some protection from this scam going around Dallas. Just pick one and get going.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 11, 2013
This has been going on for a couple of years with no slow down in sight. They take down 1 and 2 more pop up. It is not just here on Trulia but Craigslist and others too. They clone listings and use the same line but they keep finding new people to fall for it. Trulia needs to make it harder to add a rental listing as they do with the for sale homes.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 11, 2013
Flag the rental listing and contact Trulia at 415-748-3700 Monday - Friday from 7:00am - 4:00pm PST to alert them of what you found.

Also, you can send them an e-mail message including the entire address of the property at:
http://www.trulia.com/help/ask. Trulia may take up to 48 hours to reply to your e-mail message.

Good luck!

Chad Gray PA, Realtor
Luxury Living Fort Lauderdale
(at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate)
754-300-6040

100% of clients rated our service as "EXCELLENT"!
http://luxurylivingfortlauderdale.com/what-clients-are-saying/

.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 11, 2013
Is this still a valid phone number for Trulia?
Flag Thu Jan 29, 2015
I am being scammed now through Trulia and Craigslist- there could be more, but that's all I know about so far. They have stolen my NAME and all of the pictures that I had on my listing- having my house for SALE not RENT-
They are having people drive past my house and telling them to feel free to look in the windows and they are out of town- TONS of people have been sent to my house.
He tells them that he will email them documents to fill out so HE can verify THEM- He will have them send him a deposit and he will send them the key via Fed-X. It's amazing how many people can actually FALL for this scam and send him money.
The Internet has opened a scammers paradise. Every home listing on the internet- even those listed with realtors, are now openly subject to being scammed.
I have contacted my attorney- the attorney General- Our local police as well as the sheriff's office-
Bottom line? Nobody will do anything about it. IF i find out WHO is doing this- and I FIND OUT who the scammer is- then I can sue him. LOL- Not likely that's going to happen. I'm not the FBI.
So, we can look forward to this continuing. ..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2015
There are scams out there now using my real phone number as a contact for the rental listed. If you come across the phone number 9166124415. Then its a scam and don't call please.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2015
There are scams out there now using my real phone number as a contact for the rental listed. If you come across the phone number 9166124415. Then its a scam and don't call please.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2015
These scams are all over the country. I click on FRAUD Listing on the TRULIA site. I would just warn people, if you get this long letter, they are out of town doing missionary work and you cant get in the house unless you send them money..DONT DO IT. I went as far as played along with one, I didn't send any money but I said I did, they were so mad they didn't get any money, I told them there was a FRAUD ALERT on their property that no one was going to send money if they cant get in the house. They change their names and keep doing it. They are using internet phone numbers I think they are out of the country and have someone here in the states to get the money for them. If you notice....you are always APPROVED no matter what. Its almost funny as hell...just don't send no money PLEASE DO NOT SEND MONEY to these people.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2015
I'm sorry to hear that. Yes, there are a lot of scams out there; I would suggest working with a local realtor to help you find a property.

Susie Kay
Realtor & Certified Stager
United Real Estate
469-371-2899
http://www.dfwdreamhomes.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2015
I am a retired realtor- Realtors are not exempt from having their listings scammed any less than a for-sale-by-owner. Once it's on the Internet- it's a free for all- they can steal the address and all info and then put it on as a rental. Using a realtor is NOT a safe-guard.
Flag Tue Mar 31, 2015
I was.just scammed out of $300 toward deposit on this site im hirt cause im usually not so trusting hard lesson learned
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2015
DO NOT SEND MONEY...if they are out of town cant show you the house face to face or want money before you can see inside the house or meet them face to face.....ITS FRAUD. They always say MISSIONARY WORK for the Lord. They think it sounds more trusting.
Flag Wed Jan 28, 2015
Yea I got the same story about a church family one event went as far as saying they were a reverend.
Yea it's bad and I can't believe they allow this to happen in the site/app. I just wanted to see how many were in accurate since I wrote last and I have been 8 for 8 with scams. I will never use this site and I will make sure everyone around me knows trulia is a un trustable resource.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 22, 2014
I got on trulia to find a rental home in Georgetown ky, and instead I found a house that some people from Nigeria found on trulia and duplicated the add. they said the house was for rent when it was really on sale, they took all the information from the site they found on a property and
used the pictures and the sellers name even, I had to contact a real estate agent to get the truth, I almost gave them a deposit on this house. they led me on for days. I almost gave them my personal information, they could not actually meet at the house to show it, when I asked them to me the house they said they were in another county and could not meet me and if I wanted to see the inside of the house I had to give them the deposit for the house before they could give me a key. please beware of this scam, my family and I were so happy to have found a new home, it was very disappointing to find out it was all a lie when we needed a new home so bad.
The man I spoke with told me he was a man of God and wanted to help my family, they will say anything to make you believe this scam!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 22, 2014
All I can say is this site is nonsense and horrible. We have went to 4 different listing and each one has been a fraud. I am more than dissappointed that this site would allow random postings on it without doing and background check on who or what is posting. I will never go on this site or suggest it to anyone. You have lost my business and eveyone that I know I will be sure to update on what we experienced. I understand there is fraud everywhere but again for trulia to not do any investigation on what is being posted is unprofessional. 4 out of 4 scams is enough for me!!! 2 of the houses for rent people were already living at and the "so called owner" said we can go the other two were for sale by realtor not on trulia.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 20, 2014
only deal with owners who will meet you at their property. If is sound to good to be true, it probably is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 8, 2013
197 Lenox Avenue Albany, NY 12208 is a scam I know that for sure... sketchy beyond belief. Richard L Griffith III is the "Owner" but I'm pretty sure he is being impersonated by a fraud. Had to leave to Texas for a relocated job and we were asked to look from the outside. Could not find a trust worthy agent... blah blah blah. And the guy is a whack job.... The house looked lived in through the window there was food on the counter and bags by the back door... Beautiful house but it is all a scam. It was way too good to be true to begin with... GERRR
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 7, 2013
at the top left of each listing is a FLAG button... you can press that button, and tag the listing as SUSPECTED FRAUD. Trulia will investigate, and if needed, delete the listing.

Trulia doesn't have the manpower to patrol all the listings that are posted by consumers... so they rely on people like you to FLAG the listing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 11, 2013
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in 60201
MVP'08
Contact
flag the listing.......send them anonymous email with a number of a law enforcement agency that might be interested in talking to them. That might teach them a lesson and also alert the agency to investigate.

Normally the prices are just way too good to be true. If they are ....it's a scam. Normally it something like 600 or 900 bucks for a place that should be double or triple that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 11, 2013
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
Contact
Sadly people have fallen for these scams so the scammers will keep at it. The best thing consumers can do to protect themselves is to work with a licensed real estate professional to find a rental instead of searching sites like Trulia and Craigslist.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 11, 2013
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