Using Trulia in San Diego>Question Details

Elana, Home Buyer in Outside U.S.

I am looking to rent a house and the owner is in the UK and says she uses Trulia.com to collect rent & pass keys. Is this a service u offer or a?

Asked by Elana, Outside U.S. Tue Oct 5, 2010

scam? I am looking at a rental in downtown San Diego that is too good to be true and the "owner" said she works with your UK office. I send money and they hold it in trust while sending the keys to me and I get my money back if I don't like it. Do you offer a service like this? The owners name is Amanda Gates. It sounds sketchy. Please confirm or deny ASAP.

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BEST ANSWER
Hi Elana,

This is a scam. Trulia does not offer any of these services.

Regards,

Charlie Wheeler
Account Manager | Trulia
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
Big Scam... Bet you found the property on craigslist. Trulia does not offer a service like that and as far as I am aware is not a liscenced broker in California to be able to perform property management.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
If in fact Trulia offers this service have Trulia confirm this her story. Sounds fishy. In addition with all the Scams going on these days I would want proof that this peson is in fact the owner and that the property isn't in default or foreclosure.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
SCAM!
I've read about this in the past. It is a hoax.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
If you are coming to stay in San Diego, try something short term temporary furnished, until you get the lay of the land. Craigslist.com has plenty of short term vacation rentals. Summer season is over so rates should be down
Web Reference: http://www.lchometeamsd.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 8, 2010
"RED FLAG" "RED FLAG" "RED FLAG" "RED FLAG"

This should be reported to both trulia and the authorities......

Bill
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 7, 2010
You are right. It is too good to be true. That is because it is a scam. Send the email information to customerservice@trulia.com.

I have seen similar scams. They are all over the internet.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
This probably is the scam that is mainly found on craigslist.com Be very-very careful. All foreign investors that I work with use a local property management company. Any one that proclaims otherwise, raises a big red flag to me.
Best wishes, Rudi
Web Reference: http://www.umboc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
Hi Elana,

I could tell you if this person owns this property, just email me the address and I'll check the public records, then you'll know for sure. But, I would never wire money to anyone I'm not sure about.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
Here is the email she sent me... Thanks for taking the time to look at my property.
My name is Amanda Gates, I'm 48 years old, I'm a construction engineer and I'm the owner of this condo (2 bedrooms,2 bathrooms,1400 square footage). I lived in this beautiful condo for over 5 years and loved every day of it. The condo is fully furnished with all necessary amenities (exactly like in the pics), Brazilian cherry floors, Luxurious kitchen with Viking appliances, large kitchen island and Poggen Pohl cabinets, California Closets walk-in closet in bedroom;
The unit is equipped with recessed lighting, central air and heat, the condo come with two parking spots, a storage unit where you can deposit my furniture (if you don't like it and you want use your furniture),there is also a linen closet, and most importantly, a new front loading stacked washer and drier. Pets allowed. In 2009 I've moved to United Kingdom with my job (i am a construction engineer) and decided to rent it because I also pay rent here. The price is so low because I'm here and is very hard to find a tenant. I can rent you the condo for max. 5years. I really want to find a good and responsible tenant for it, and I hope that you can send me some personal information about yourself. The monthly rent is not negotiable, if you can pay the 3 months in advance it will be considered as 4 month's rent. The monthly rent for the apartment is US $700.00. First month's advance, $700.00 deposit. Looking for someone to rent anywhere from 3 months to 5 years. (water,electricity, Internet,cable, parking,air conditioning, fireplace, dishwasher, garbage are included) and I want to receive the money monthly in my bank account. You can move in the condo in the same day when you receive the keys. The only problem is that I`m the only person who has the keys and I have nobody in United States that could show you the condo. In order to check it, see if you like it (I'm sure that you'll love it), you need to receive the keys and the contract. Obviously we need a way to complete this deal in a safe and fast way for both. The solution is provided by a company called Trulia (http://www.trulia.com) which will handle the payment and delivery of the Keys. I used their services to receive the rent for 1 year (with my last tenant) and i am 100% satisfied with what they offer. They have a program that protects the tenant's deposit and makes sure that the tenant is fully satisfied with the condo before I receive the money. In conclusion, the money will be deposited and locked in their custody until you will be able to view & accept the condo. There is also a 5 days return policy (you can refuse the condo and you get your money with no questions asked). If you want to know more about how this deal can work please get back to me ASAP and I will send you the details step by step. Let me know if you are interested because I really need to take care of this matter by the end of the next week. meetamanda813@yahoo.com

I have reported her to the authorities.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
You mentioned below that you wish you could bust this person--report her to the authorities--don't delete her mails yet.....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
Now I just wish I could bust this woman. She keeps emailing me. She also has other places listed all over the USA. She seems to use the same name on all the properties (Amanda Gates) but she uses a different email each time. Just a heads up! She writes long emails with a lot of information. She seems pretty legit in her email. WATCH OUT!~
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
Hi Elana,

You can find houses for rent on Trulia, and that is the full extent of what they offer.

If you want to know what Trulia offers, write them directly under the "Contact Us" section of the site. We as agents can only offer our opinion, where the Trulia employees will give you the facts.

We agree with the others, sounds like a scam.

As an FYI, 85% to 90% of the homes leased in San Diego get fulfilled through Craigslist. People we know own a property management company and even they use it. Here is the link for San Diego Housing/Apts:

http://sandiego.craigslist.org/apa/

Where it says Search For you can put "Downtown" or "92101" which is the zip code for Downtown SD.

Best of luck,

Mark and Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
Real Estate Experts Serving San Diego County
Specialists in Investment Properties, Foreclosures, Short Sales,
Development Opportunities & Traditional Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
First of all, I would never send money to an unknown person while waiting for keys. And whose UK office? Trulia's? You may want to contact Trulia directly to let them know so Trulia can maybe post something like a warning to Trulia Members. Chris Tesch is right- there are tons of scams around rentals- I've even read abuot one in the news where the tenant has actually met a person at the property, done the walk-through with them, given deposit and first months, been given the keys, and found out AFTER they moved in that they'd been scammed (the scammer had found a vacant house, changed the locks, and then advertised it on Craig's List). If the homeowner is out of the country, they would generally use a property manager to lease their property. Trust your gut- and if you do find out from Trulia they do/don't offer this service, I'd be interested to know. Thanks.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
Elana,

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is...in this case definately is! There are all kinds of scams out there with rentals. They typically revolve around CraigsList ads. I've seen properties I'm representing have scam rental ads associated with them with email addresses that sound as if they are my owners. I would go to a Property Manager or rental agent to look at properties.

Hope you find a great rental.
Web Reference: http://www.ChrisTesch.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
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