Virginians need to be mindful of rental scams on Zillow

Virginians need to be mindful of rental scams on Zillow

A Zillow fraud victim was a Virginia woman.

When a friend of mine was searching to rent a house a few years ago, she told her that she had been told not to use Zillow. She didn’t inquire as to why, but not too long after, I heard two women discussing how rental properties listed on Zillow could be scams. Having personally experienced this, Roanoker Kimberly Causey told WDBJ 7 about her tale as a cautionary tale.

Causey claimed that after taking a tour of the Wippledale Avenue house in Salem, she thought everything was fine. Afterward, she intended to move in and sent $4700 through Zelle as a deposit on the house. The person she was speaking with had agreed to meet her there, but when she got there, she discovered that the house was occupied by a different family.

Zillow provides advice on how to avoid being taken advantage of.
Through the doorbell, she communicated with the owners and learned that they had moved in after she had deposited her deposit. According to the Better Business Bureau, local residents frequently fall victim to these kinds of frauds. Zillow provides a list of strategies to avoid falling for rental scams.

Emails filled with spelling and grammatical errors are usually a sign of fraud. British spelling such as “favour” instead of “favor” is also a sign of a rental scam. Messages involving stories of family or financial issues, or of agents who charge too high a premium are usually fraud.

Red flags include long-distance landlords, requests for bank account and Social Security data, and requests to transmit money by MoneyGram or Western Union. Additionally, Zillow advises against sending money to someone you haven’t met in person.

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