Friday, May 01, 2009

Beware of security deposits or earnest money for "stolen" foreclosed properties


Media outlets in the Washington DC area have reported a new kind of quasi identity theft scheme with phony rental offers.

A family, homeless for a while, had saved up cash for a security department to rent a townhouse in a distant Virginia suburb, and made the deposit. Then the “landlord” disappeared. It turned out that the “landlord” was a woman who had broken into a foreclosed home to offer it.

The problem has been reported in other areas, such as Florida, such as with this posting by the Attorney General of Florida.

The other risk would be schemes to collect earnest money for “stolen” homes.

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