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The Cambria Somerset Association of REALTORS® is the voice for real estate in Cambria and Somerset Counties.  

 

Two current rental scams are hitting our area.

Someone is spoofing rental listings - including photos, listing descriptions, and approving people for the rental.

The people that got scammed sent them money via cash app, twice, and once the transaction was completed there is no way to recoup those funds. They sent $1000 and once the money is received, they schedule times for the tenants to pick up keys and then ghost them. Johnstown police are handling this complaint and they said to go into Facebook and other sites to check on your listings and if there’s a fake account to report them to Facebook or whatever the website is.

A scammer is using a big name real estate website to scam customers.  They are buying paid leads from this site so when someone clicks "contact agent" about a rental it goes to this person.  They are then using photos from real estate agent's listings that have been changed by AI and send to the potential renters.  So far we know they have scammed someone on a rental in Ebensburg but luckily the scammer only got $50 before they became suspicious and contacted the listing agent. 

Please remember a little research can save you a lot of money by avoiding a scam. 

  1. Visit the property and if you see a For Sale sign call the number on the sign and ask if the property is really for rent.

  2. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  3. Never wire money, pay through online payment portals or send money orders to someone you have not verified as the owner or licensed real estate agent. If the landlord has an online website for payment, it is more likely to be valid.

  4. Use caution when renting a property that you have not toured.  Yes, there are some out of town owners who may not be available to show you the property but there are also scammers.

  5. Do a little online research of the person offering the property for rent.

  6. Do a web search of the address to see if it is listed for sale or anywhere else.  Sometimes this will give you the owner’s name or leasing company’s name.

  7. Keep a screenshot of the ad and person listing it for rent in case there is a problem.  Keep copies of all communication.

  8. Report a scam to the website it was listed on.

 

 

2023

 

 

 

 

Present by the Cambria Somerset Association of REALTORS®  Data compiled from the Cambria Somerset Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service

Copyright 2023 Realtors Property Resource® LLC. All Rights Reserved.  Information is not guaranteed. Equal Housing Opportunity.

 

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