LAS VEGAS -- Metro police say rental scams are on the rise and what makes it difficult to stop is that the fraud can come from many different directions.
The classic rental scam works by somebody posing as a landlord and illegally leasing out someone else's property. Now, some scam artists are posing as victims, hoping to con property managers into letting them stay.
The property manager of a house near Torrey Pines Dr. and Windmill Ln. points out a broken lock. She recalls how she found out the home was illegally occupied.
"The people claimed they were frauded," said Linda Crosbie, Realty Executives. She says they told her they found the home listed in the newspaper and they paid $3,500 to rent it. Crosbie believed the home's occupants were the victim of a rental scam and helped convince the investor of the home to let them stay. Later, she discovered the records on the property didn't match and realized the so-called victims were scamming her.
"Us agents are watching and we're paying more attention then we have ever had to."
Metro Police say this is the latest in a growing number of rental scams.
"They drive around, they look at the foreclosure list. They just move in. They simply just move in and they'll dummy up a receipt or create a receipt to make it look like they're the victim," Lt. Susan Shingleton of Metro said.
Metro Police adds the majority of rental scams usually involve fake landlords preying on families looking for a rental deal. The best way to stop the scammers is by using public information that is available for free at the Clark County Recorder's Office and online.
"This is available to them," Assistant County Recorder Eugene Mendiola said. She adds it is something anyone can do before they sign a lease.
Use these links to find information on a property:
- Assessor Records and Maps (This website will give you the home's parcel number)
- Clark County Recorder's Office (Use the parcel number to see the home's history)
Computers are available for free use at the Clark County Administration Building.
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