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Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office warns of rental listing scams

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 5:28 AM EDT
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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office is warning the community about a scam involving rental listings.

The Sheriff’s Office said one its citizens made them aware of a scam that could have potentially cost one family a lot of money.

According to BCSO, a Facebook post was made listing a home in the Sunset Beach area for rent. The price was listed considerably lower than what is typical for the area. The same home was listed legitimately on Zillow at a much higher price.

The scammer requested that a large amount of money be transferred via a money transfer app such as Zeal. Law enforcement says that scammers will always look for ways to get your money quickly, and in ways where there is little chance of getting it back.

The scammer gave allegedly a “sad story” about how the home belonged to his deceased father, and he was just trying to get it rented quickly. Law enforcement says that scammers often try to play with people’s heartstrings, in order to make people feel sorry for them, ultimately convincing potential victims to give them money.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “Scammers know that finding the right apartment or vacation rental can be hard work, and a seemingly good deal is hard to pass up. They’ve been known to game some vacation rental websites and bulletin boards. The take-away: when you’re looking for a rental, it’s caveat renter — renter beware.” The FTC further states, “rip-off artists make up listings for places that aren’t for rent or don’t exist, and try to lure you in with the promise of low rent, or great amenities. Their goal is to get your money before you find out.”

🚨SCAM ALERT: RENTAL LISTING SCAM🚨 Thanks to one of our "citizen detectives", we have been made aware of a scam that...

Posted by Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, NC on Thursday, September 16, 2021

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