Be wary of property rental scams


Scam Alert | Sherman and Hemstreet

Property rental scam warning in Columbia County

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Columbia County Sheriff's Office is warning the public of scammers copying information from legitimate website to get your money.

Deputies say local property owners, rental agencies, and realtors are having images and other information stolen from their websites. The suspects are then using the information to make fraudulent rental posts on websites including Craigslist and Zillow. The sheriff's office says potential renters are then told to send down payments and fees to the suspects out of town.

The sheriff's office says renters should watch for the following warning signs and red flags:

  • long-distance inquiries
  • Requests that they send a check or money order or wire funds through MoneyGram, Green Dot MoneyPak or Western Union.
    Requests for personal and/or financial information.
  • Offers from a person who claims to be affiliated with Zillow, Craigslist and other such websites to facilitate a home purchase, loan or rental.
  • Suggestions to use Zillow or Craigslist for money exchanges.
    Typos, grammatical errors and improper wording or context during discussion.
  • When selling or buying items online, requests for your bank account number, Social Security number or a code sent to your cellphone via text message or phone call are all signs of a potential scam.