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December 29th, 2016 11:28 AM by David W. Welch
The latest iteration of 'rental scam' in Orlando is an ad placed using a legitimate listing telling the would be tenants to contact the owner directly by email. The scammers are looking up the actual owner's name on the public records, and creating an email account using their name.
The 'owner' then emails them back stating not to contact the real estate agent, otherwise the rent would have to be a lot higher to pay the agent. I've heard a couple of different versions of this. The 'owner' either tells the 'tenant' the agent is doing a bad job or the listing is almost up and the agent doesn't deserve their commission.
There are at least two common threads to watch out for. First, the 'owner' is always out of state, so money has to be wired or a money order sent, before the 'owner' will send the 'tenant' a key. Second, and the most obvious red flag, the rent is much lower than market. The old axiom is still true, 'if it sounds too good to be true - it is.' You cannot rent a four bedroom, pool home in Orlando for $1,000/mo.