Is this a scam if rent and deposit paid via westrn union and keys to home not delivered?

Asked by Valeriedaugherty13, Jeffersonville, IN Wed Nov 2, 2011

We have paid deposit and rent and have not received our keys. How long should we wait to receive keys?

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7
Marc White, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Wed Nov 2, 2011
Sounds like it. I don't need to belittle this, many have already shared their opinions.
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Wed Nov 2, 2011
Let me make a guess that the rent was much less than you expected, and it seemd like a VERY good deal....almost too good to be true.

If so..........I think you have been had.
Where did you see this ad?
If it's on trulia, let them know asap........if on Craigslist (infamous for rental scams), then let them know right away, too.

In the future, NEVER pay anyone you havent met in person ...make sure you visit the rental with the owner or agent.......do not buy into any stories about why they can't meet you (they usually have great stories...some may claim to be dsabled.......some claim to be out of state........some will say that they know you will be a great tenant....some even reference religion......etc).
Sadly, they are scams.

Good luck in the future, and make sure you verify everything before sending money to anyone!
0 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Nov 2, 2011
yes, it sounds like a scam. sending the money via western union is often the key... as if you sent the money via u.s. mail it would be postal fraud... for some reason via western union, it's a lesser charge if they get caught.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed Nov 2, 2011
Many scams do exist, and you may have fallen victim; therefore report the incident to the local authorities. Always verify ownership before exchanging any money/personal information...
0 votes
Marie Souza…, Agent, Centerville, MA
Wed Nov 2, 2011
Yes. It seems like you got scammed. I'm so sorry! Report it right away & never, ever send money without verifying the landlord info.
0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Wed Nov 2, 2011
Valeriedaughety,
I'm sorry but I suspect it is. There are lots of rental scams out there where people, usually in a foreign country offer a copied listing at below market rent while they are away. They "just want it taken care of" and for this request a smaller than market rent but a deposit up front through a cashier’s check or other non-revocable means of payment.
There is no way I can know for sure, but based on what you've asked I suspect it is. I've attached a link to Snopes.com with some samples. If yours looked like one of these, it is more likely a scam.
Again, I'm very sorry. For your next rental, use a good local agent. We will insure you are dealing with a qualified owner or property manager.
0 votes
Alain Picard, Agent, Puyallup, WA
Wed Nov 2, 2011
It very well could be. Anytime someone asks you to send them money through western union or some other type of wire service you should be cautious. Try going the county website where the property is located and with the address of the property try to find out who is paying the taxes on the property and if that is the same name as who you've been in contact with about renting it than there's a good chance that it's not a scam.
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