| by Kenneth Chase | No comments

Officials: Yolo County residents beware of this apartment scam


>>SHE WAS VERY EXCITED BECAUSE
THE RENTAL MARKET IS VERY HARD
RIGHT NOW. MAX: YOLO HOUSING CEO LISA BAKER
SHARES EMAILS WITH US DETAILING
AN EXCHANGE BETWEEN A
PROSPECTIVE RENTER AND THE
PERSON SHE BELIEVES OWNS THE
HOME AVAILABLE FOR REN>>IN THIS SERIES OF EMAILS,
THEY’RE BASICALLY DETAILING HOW
THEY LOVE HER QUALIFICATIONS. MAX: INVESTIGATORS SAY IT BEGINS
ONLINE ON SITES LIKE CRAIGSLIST. THE SUPPOSED HOMEOWNER ASKS FO
A DEPOSIT OR A MONTH’S RENT. IN THIS CASE, $900. AND ONLY AFTER THAT PAYMENT WILL
THE RENTER GET A CONTRACT AND
KEYS TO THE HOUSE. ON TOP OF THAT, RENTER NEVER
SEES THE HOME. AS FOR THE MONEY?>>AFTER SHE’S WIRED THE MONEY,
SHE’S BASICALLY SAID, ISN’T
THERE GOING TO BE A LEASE? SHOULDN’T WE SIGN THAT? BUT AT THAT POINT, IT’S KIND OF
LATE. MAX: SO, HOW DID THE WOMAN
BECOME SO TRUSTING? LISA SAYS THE SCAMMER PORED OVER
THE VICTIM’S FACEBOOK PAGE
BUILD A STRONG RELATIONSHIP,
MAKING IT APPEAR AS THOUGH THEY
HAD FRIENDS IN COMMON.>>THERE’S OTHER WAYS IN WHICH
THEY TRY TO FORM A RELATIONSHIP,
BUT THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IS
KIND OF A NEW TWIST. MAX: WHILE IT’S CLEAR WHAT THE
SCAM IS, WHO’S BEHIND IT IS NOT. AN ENFORCEMENT OFFICER WITH THE
YOLO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S
OFFICE TELLS US TRACKING DOWN
THE PEOPLE BEHIND THESE SCAMS IS
VERY DIFFICULT
>>IF THEY’RE SENDING SOMEONE CASH, THEY’LL SEND IT TO SOME
ANONYMOUS ADDRESS OR A CHECK
IF THEY’RE WIRING MONEY, IT
MIGHT BE TO SOME WEIRD, FA
WESTERN UNION ACCOUNT THAT
THEY’RE SETTING UP. MAX: KEVIN CLARK IS
INVESTIGATING SIMILAR CASES. HE SAYS FAKE HOMEOWNERS WILL USE
PICTURES OF VACANT OR ABANDONED
PROPERTIES OR HOMES FOR RENT
THAT DON’T BELONG TO THEM. PERHAPS MOST ENTICING, THEY’RE
FAR BELOW MARKET RATE.>>SOMETHING THAT’S $300, $400,
$500 LESS, YOU’RE LIKE, OH, OK I
CAN AFFORD THAT. I WANT TO GET INTO SOMETHING
LIKE THAT. MAX: TO PROTECT YOURSELF, DON’T
PAY MONEY UP FRONT. SEE THE HOME AND GET OFFICIAL
DOCUMENTS FROM MANAGEMENT OR THE
OWNER BEFORE MAKING A DEPOSI

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