Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Scam Hits Real Estate

Now the National Association of Realtors is the target. Well, actually, unwitting renters are the target, but legitimate Realtors might be dragged through the mud through no fault of their own on this one.

The National Association of Realtors' name is being used illegally as part of a property rental scam, according to the National Association of Realtors and law enforcement. In this scam, rental property is offered to consumers, who are led to believe that NAR is functioning as an intermediary to receive rental deposits from prospective tenants and, upon receipt of the deposit, to deliver the keys to the property to the tenant.

The tenant is instructed to send money via Western Union to NAR's purported agent, in the United Kingdom. If you have encountered this scam, be advised you may file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, sponsored by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center.

When this kind of stuff hits, it drives me crazy. For those who are considering real estate as an investment, are wholly invested in such, or who are tenants and who got burned one way or another, this kind of scam hurts everyone in the industry.

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