White Plains police: Be vigilant amid uptick in rental scams

Police in White Plains are warning residents about a recent uptick in apartment rental scams.

News 12 Staff

Sep 21, 2022, 12:16 PM

Updated 576 days ago

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Police in White Plains are warning residents about a recent uptick in apartment rental scams.
They say the scams often begin with the victim responding to a posting on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
Police are giving out the following recommendations:
-Be skeptical of lessors who claim to be out of the country or attempt to rush you to send money under the threat that the rental unit will go to other prospective clients.
-Do not send any money to the lessor until you have physically toured the property and signed a lease. If they have an excuse for why you cannot tour or say they will not provide a lease without a down payment, you should avoid the transaction.
-If the lessor requests that you wire the money to them for a down payment, this should be a red flag. If the lessor requests multiple smaller transactions to reach the agreed upon amount, you should be skeptical of this as well.
-Before sending any money to the lessor, conduct a Google search of the address. Often, scammers will use addresses of units that are currently listed for sale due to the better likelihood of the unit being vacant. If a Google search reveals the unit/house currently for sale on the market by a reputable real estate firm, avoid this transaction.
-By conducting rental transactions through a licensed realtor, you can avoid the pitfalls of these scams. The fees you may have to pay to a realtor can prevent you from having substantial sums of money stolen from you.
Police say that if you think any transaction seems even slightly suspicious, contact them at (914) 422-6111. They say that if the situation seems too good to be true, it usually is.


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