Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office: Rental scams on the rise

Crime News

A rental sign is posted in front of an apartment complex Tuesday, July 14, 2020, in Phoenix. Housing advocacy groups have joined lawmakers lobbying Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to extend his coronavirus-era moratorium on evictions when it expires, when the 120-day order ending July 22 was supposed to ensure people would not lose their homes if they fell ill to COVID-19 or lost jobs in the pandemic’s economic fallout. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) is warning residents not to fall victim to rental scams, which the agency says are on the rise.

According to BCSO, the scammers post online advertising properties that they do not actually own for prices well below market value. Prospective renters are convinced to secure the deal by sending a security deposit, site unseen. Then, the scammers disappear.

In reality, the properties are owned by someone else, and often occupied.

To prevent being scammed, BCSO recommends people in the market for a rental property do the following:

  • Visit the property with a landlord or realtor
  • Ask for references or landlord reviews
  • Don’t send money without verifying information

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