Troubleshooter: Watch out for scammers trying to rent out Triangle homes for sale

If you're looking for a new place to call home, watch out for scammers claiming to have the perfect property for you.

There are several fake rental ads online and in reality, these homes are not for rent, but for sale.

It happened to a property Realtor Ernie Mills Jr. had listed for sale.

RELATED: Troubleshooter: Rental scam using technology to trick you out of money

"People were calling, and they were saying 'how much is the rent?' and I was like 'it's not for rent,' it's for sale," said Mills.

Mills asked the callers where they found the home for rent and they directed him to Craigslist and he found several ads offering homes for rent instead of for sale.

Mills said the scammers took his pictures off of the MLS listing and told people to check out the home on their own time.

"They came out, walked around the house. They told me the guy asked them to send the first and last month's rent and he would send them the key," Mills added.

Mills said he's happy the people at least saw his phone number on the for sale sign and called him because if they didn't they could have lost money since the scammer was offering the home for a monthly rent that was too good to be true.

"Someone who is replying to a $750 home for rent is probably someone who doesn't have a ton of money to burn either and this could be all the cash they have, and to send that to a scammer, then they could end up homeless, I mean who knows," he said.

Mills reported the fake ad to Craigslist, but days later, the listing popped up again.

"One of my greatest fears is that I come here to show the house to someone who wants to buy it, and there are people living in the house or moving in; they've sent their hard earned money off to some scammer," Mills added.

The Troubleshooter Takeaway is to be very cautious when responding to rental ads where the price is too good to be true.

Also, go check out the property and google the property address to see if it's actually for sale or for rent. If you're asked to wire the rent money or pay with a prepaid debit or gift cards, that's a big red flag.

Lastly, know that even if you get the lockbox code to see the property, it doesn't mean it's not a scammer who just has that code.
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