Tucson woman raising awareness after a scammer on Facebook tried to rent her a phony property for cheap
TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - A Tucson woman is raising awareness after a scammer tried to rent a house to her on Facebook.
Kayla Archer said the property seemed too good to be true, so she messaged the scammer for more information. Fortunately, she spotted several red flags before losing any money.
“I’ve seen ads like these before, so when I hit it, I was like, this person is obviously a scammer,” said Archer.
The ad was filled with misspellings and improper grammar. Archer said she was sure it was a scam when it only had one picture of the property.
“When I contacted him, the first thing he wanted to do was move off of Facebook and get a cell phone,” said Archer.
Frank Magos, Public Information Officer at Tucson Police Department, said if someone asks you to switch communication methods or make quick decisions, you should think twice before trusting them.
“It’s all about speed. It’s all about confusing you and getting you to act quickly. Not giving you time to think or to process what they’re actually asking you for and to get you out there to give them money,” said Magos.
As Kayla continued to message the individual, he asked her to deposit $825. When she asked him to send more pictures of the property, she found the biggest red flag of all.
“I could see the watermark on the photos. I researched the watermark on the photos and found it was a fake ad. I found the actual listing for the home,” said Archer.
That property was going for 1,825 dollars a month. The fake listing was going for only $1,000 a month.
When Kayla addressed her findings, the scammer blocked her, and that ad was taken down.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You have to do your own research. Look at other properties in the area. If the market value is too good to be true, there’s another red flag there,” said Magos.
Kayla did, in fact, do her research. She found her answer on a legit website.
“One of the blocks on their informational thing says we don’t advertise on Craigslist or Facebook. We always direct you back to the website. If anyone is taking you off the website, it’s not us,” said Archer.
If you find yourself the target of a rental scam, report it to your local law enforcement agency and to the Federal Trade Commission.
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