Stay alert to avoid rental scams

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Imagine this — you get a knock on the door from police who say you have to leave the home you’ve just rented. This new scam is a growing real estate crime.

Many use apps when shopping, sending money to a friend or paying a bill.

For Brittney Tullier, her convenience turned into her biggest complication. Unaware that she was being scammed, Tullier paid both the deposit and rent for a house she found on Zillow through her online banking account.

Tullier says she’s never met the scammer who posed as the realtor of the home. It seemed legit because he provided identification, says Tullier.

Experts say wiring transactions or paying through apps is a red flag when being scammed. There is no protection for the consumer, which makes it easier for the scammer to grab your money and go.

Interim president for Lafayette’s Better Business Bureau Chris Babin says, “If you can’t meet with the property owner in person or they want you to pay through those non-traditional means like wiring money or cash apps or  paying directly through your bank account. A lot of times those are red flags to look out for  because it’s very easy for a scammer to pick a property that has a bunch of pictures and everything online and then to duplicate that and pretend as though it’s  there for rental.”

Babin say’s studies show almost half of the listings you encounter online could be bogus or some type of scam.

If you would like to help the family contact Brittney Tullier at (337) 703-5286 or Angela Noel at (337) 781-8179

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