COVID-19 Real Estate Rental Scams

Posted on 10/20/20

These days, because of COVID-19, lots of financial transactions that used to take place in person now happen virtually. This creates an opportunity for scammers to pose as legitimate operators and steal people’s money. One place this is happening more often is in real estate – specifically fake home rentals.

Scammers take pictures from legitimate home rental offers and create their own fake rental listings. The rentals are often offered for well below market price and the crooks use the coronavirus as a reason why a tour and in-person meeting aren’t possible. Only after the victim sends their deposit and shows up at someone else’s home, do they find out it is a scam.

Be suspicious of any rental where you can’t physically visit the space and make sure you’re using secure and trusted websites when looking for a home rental.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 1-877-908-3360 to report a scam or get help if you’ve fallen victim.

This story is provided by AARP Maine. Visit the AARP Maine page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

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