What to do if You’re a Victim of a Rental Scam

Rental Scams in Southern California

There is a housing shortage in Southern California, with many more renters than available housing. Scammers are aware of this and take advantage of unsuspecting people.

Scammers usually want money, other times they want your sensitive information such as credit cards, drivers license, and/or social security numbers. It’s good to be aware of red flags, however, if you found out that the listing is not real after you have sent money or information, here are some steps that you can take to protect yourself and recover.

Zillow Website

1. Notify the Listing Website

Did you see the advertised property on Zillow or Craigslist? Notify them so they take the fraudulent listing down. Sometimes scammers use a real property management or agent’s name, if so let them know as well. No reputable business wants a scammer associated with their brand.

CA Department of Consumer Affairs

2. Contact Your Local Law Enforcement or CA Department of Consumer Affairs.

Police departments collect information on these incidents to keep the public aware and link any potential crimes in their communities. Be sure to provide as much information as possible regarding the incident, including the scammers name or alias, the phone number, email address, and any other information you may have. The CA Department of Consumer Affairs is meant to protect consumer’s interest. If it was a company that scammed you, this is the best approach.

Federal Trade Commission Building

3. Report it to the Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission deals with identity theft. Another government agency meant to protect consumers, the FTC is involved with fraudulent wire transfers and other cybercrimes.

Report it to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center
The FBI IC3 relies on tips from the public to track down domestic and international cyber criminals. This easy-to-use reporting mechanism is essential to preventing future victims.

J. Edgar Hoover Building

4. Report it to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center

The FBI IC3 relies on tips from the public to track down domestic and international cyber criminals. This easy-to-use reporting mechanism is essential to preventing future victims.

5. Report it to your Bank

Call your bank as soon as you’re aware of the scam and let them know what happened. There is no guarantee that you will be refunded your money, but if you sent a check or used other form or service the transaction may be blocked.

Following the incident, you should keep a close eye on your credit report. Rental scams can sometimes lead to identity theft or fraud. Check for any unauthorized purchases or new accounts that you did not open.


Final Words

At Access, we understand that the home search process can be difficult, thus we aim to give you an easy, secure process. Give us a call and our representatives are happy to assist you in your home search. You’re able to find a list of our available properties here. To schedule a tour, we use Rently, a reputable lockbox service. The application is only available on our website or at our office, located at 119 W Sulphur St, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530.

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Access Asset Management, Inc is a property management company offering reliable property
management solutions to renters and homeowners in Southern California.

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