Scammers are using HotPads.com and posting real estate agents' listings . . . FOR RENT!!
In the past week, I have had three separate inquiries on the same home that's currently listed FOR SALE in the Portland Metro Area.
Unfortunately, the inquiries were not from buyers interested, but all three inquires were about the FOR RENT status of the property.
The three people who called me to inquire about the property told me they found the home FOR RENT on HotPads.com
The property, allegedly FOR RENT, is being displayed on HotPads.com but it is a validly listed property, listed by a licensed real estate agent, here in town. The property FOR RENT on HotPads.com is being used in a scam.
[Related Article: Rental Scams And HOW TO AVOID THEM!]
The property that is currently listed, and illegally advertised FOR RENT on HotPads.com is a 4 bedroom / 2.1 bath, 3,395 sq. ft. home on 1/2 an acre in a very desireable location. The current list price is close to $600,000.
The property being used for the scam that is being advertised FOR RENT on HotPads.com is advertsed FOR RENT at . . . $1,000 per month.
There is NO WAY this property would rent for $1,000 -- and a few savvy renters are calling me when they've found the IDX listing. For Rent portals, such as HotPads.com, seem to be full of scammers that use these rental site portals and run FOR RENT scams of listed property.
The contact to these FOR RENT scammers goes directly through HotPads.com
From: HotPads <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <-------------------- THIS IS THE SCAMMER!!
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:44 AM
Subject: Lead for 123 Anystreet Drive, Beaverton, OR 97007
I'm sure there are several thousand -- tens of thousands -- of BOGUS FOR RENT properties being displayed on websites providing rental information and HotPads.com seems to be the scammers' portal du jour.
It's a numbers game with these For Rent scammers and they have found a portal at HotPads.com.
The scams are SO bogus sounding (to the majority of people) that the scammers use them on purpose.
Because the scammers aren't as stupid as we think!!
I read an article about the psychology behind it. If the scam sounds too bogus, the majority of people WILL NOT respond. WHEW -- thank GOD, we'd all hate to see the flood of inquiries in the scammers email on a "legitimate" sounding scam. Gosh, the poor scammers would have a flood of emails to read before they found a REAL VICTIM, and a TON of work to do. So they purposely send that "I'm on a mission in Africa, fighting AIDS/HIV with my wife and 3 kids. All I want it someone nice to take care of my property, blah, blah, blah -- send me $1,000 and then I'll send you the keys."
If someone falls for that . . . BINGO they have a victim -- the hyneas pull down the unsuspecting.
This is a DELIBERATE process and it weeds out the most gullible of the gullible. And when the "tenant" SENDS the money overseas to the "owner" -- the scammers have hustled an easy target and that's all they needed -- just one.