"Fake Landlord" Scam On the Rise - WBAY

"Fake Landlord" Scam On the Rise

Updated:

Police say scams involving fake landlords have been happening a lot throughout the Green Bay area lately.

People look for rental homes and apartments on Craigslist, and give false landlords cash deposits.

By the time they find out they've been scammed, it's too late.

As if finding a place to live wasn't stressful enough. Now realtors and police are cautioning renters of a growing "fake landlord" scam.

"They're meeting people at the vacant properties, letting them in, showing them through taking cash deposits from them when in reality they have no connection to the property whatsoever," explains Michael Sewell of Caldwell Banker Real Estate.

Sewell says this kind of activity is becoming common at foreclosed properties that are easier to break into.

"We feel really bad about this obviously these people are being taken advantage of and in many cases this is the last bit of money that these people have," says Sewell.

Law enforcement is on high alert and is working to crack down on the problem.

So far one arrest has been made, but officers believe many more "fake landlords" are still out there.

"If you ever go to a place and you're not sure about it, call police and we'll swing by and make sure everything is on the up and up" says Lt. Jeff Brester of the Green Bay Police Department.

Green Bay Police ask that you be extra careful when using the site Craigslist, and never pay a cash deposit, use a traceable form of payment instead, like a check.

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