Better Business Bureau warning against rental scams, provides tips for homeowners

Business

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — As people relocate during the pandemic, rental and real estate scams are on the rise. With the way some people are eager to move into a new space, scammers have also found it as an opening to make their move.

Representatives at the Better Business Bureau are now offering tips to help keep people protected against fraud.

“To any other renter or homeowner out there just be extra cautious this year,” said Catherine Honeycutt with the BBB of Eastern North Carolina.

Renters are now finding themselves met with fake listings on a number of websites.

“Although these renter scams have been going on for years it’s really important especially now that you’re being watchful of these potential scams because they do seem more legitimate than ever,” said Honeycutt.

Catherine Honeycutt is the Communications Specialist at the Better Business Bureau. She says that these scammers are now preying on empty properties that may have been left to sit during the pandemic.

“It provided the opportunity for scammers to use that property as a pawn in their scheme where they could convince the potential renter to come by and look at the property.”

Now the BBB is offering ways in which both renters and homeowners can stay aware of these scams. Noting that in-person interaction is key.

“Meet the landlord in person, a lot of the scammers will try and steer clear of that, they don’t want to meet in person,” said Honeycutt. “Make sure you see the property ahead of time and look for any signs of vacancy or damage or things that could be a red flag of this could have been a broken property.”

When it comes to making the choice on a property, Honeycutt says it’s all about research. Overall, keeping you and your loved ones safe from these scams is what matters most.

“Always, Always, Always protect your personal information,” said Honeycutt.

For more information on how to stay safe from these scams, click here to view tips and advice.

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