Online rental scam increase - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Online rental scam increase

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Amarillo, TX - Our area has recently seen a spike in online rental and home buying scams.

Some realtors in our area this has been a problem in the past, but the last couple of months there has been a big increase with these online scams.

Scammers are taking online ads from realty companies here in Amarillo and putting a price much lower than what it really is.

They then ask the potential buyer to send a deposit payment or for the first months rent.

One local realtor, Kent Meyer, says he has heard of around 4 cases of fake listings this last week.

"This is a good time for people to move and the lease market for Amarillo and Canyon is always a really strong market, so it is just an opportunity for the bad guy to take advantage of good people," said Meyer.

David Velasquez with Key Realty says with more technology it is getting more difficult to determine if the ads are scams.

"And with Google maps they could have never have been to Amarillo, but they can articulate the location, they can say things that people would ask and they seem true," said Velasquez.

However, there are warning signs consumers can watch out for. "They always communicate text or email, saying email this or text this ... and extremely low market rents. You know if it seems too good to be true, it probably is," said Velaquez.

Another warning sign to watch out for is if the landlord says they are currently living overseas and if they require a deposit before handing over the keys.