Scammers often take advantage of the transient nature of the military and the constant relocation many soldiers and their families endure on a regular basis, particularly targeting personnel seeking off-base housing.
It begins when a scammer advertises a property for rent at a great price through free internet sites such as Craigslist and other similar web sites. The advertisements appear to be legitimate, often containing what appears to be property details along with a variety of photos to entice victims.
Once the soldier shows interest in the property, the scammer pressures that soldier to send a deposit immediately. After the money is sent, the soldier never hears from the scammer again as the property doesn’t exist or isn’t really for rent.
What to do:
- Avoid any listing that requires you to act immediately or pressures you to act urgently.
- Be wary of sending deposit money via wire transfer or other money transmittal services, such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
- Never provide your personal identifying information to an unknown individual or entity, especially to those contacts which are made solely through email.
- Be wary of poorly written correspondence or advertisements that contain misspellings, improper use of language, or unusual formatting.
- Always use a reputable property management company or agency to locate legitimate housing by checking out the company with an agency such as the Better Business Bureau.
If you believe you have been victimized by a rental scam or wish to report suspicious activity, please file a report here.
(Information provided by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office)