Police: Watch out for on-line “rental property” scam!
The Twin Falls Police Department is urging everyone to be wary of a Craigslist scam that is targeting renters, landlords and, in some cases, homeowners in Twin Falls.
Police have received multiple reports from real estate agents, brokers and landlords, who say homes in Twin Falls are being listed on Craigslist as rental properties. The scam, which is targeting other communities in Idaho and the western United States, solicits renters through Craigslist to tour vacant homes.
When renters arrive, an individual impersonating a landlord or real estate agent offers the renter a tour of the home. The perpetrators attempt to defraud renters by asking for a deposit or other payment to hold the house. Multiple people appear to be involved in the scam; however, it is unknown if the perpetrators are working together, police said.
The perpetrators are believed to be entering vacant homes in advance through unlocked windows or doors. They may also be posing as renters themselves in order to unlock doors or windows while viewing a home.
In one incident, an owner-occupied home was targeted while the owners were away.
Anyone with information about these incidents or similar suspicious activity in the City of Twin Falls should contact the Twin Falls Police Department at 735-4357.
Landlords should also ensure that all rental properties are secured after being viewed by a prospective tenant or buyer.
Police recommend that landlords check to see if their properties are listed on Craigslist. Users can report a scam by filling out a complaint form at: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/feedback.