Scam targets Valley renters looking for a bargain

When you answer an ad for a rental, beware.

The ABC 15 Investigators found an old scam is still very much alive in the Valley. It involves scammers using someone else's property to lure unknowing renters.

It happened to Renee Fisher of Avondale. The realtor was actually trying to sell her house.

But suddenly, Fisher was getting calls and visits from people wanting to rent it. Scammers had been using all of her information.

"They must have gone on the MLS somehow and got the information about my house, went to the tax records, which anybody can do, and found out our names."

Scammers used her home's pictures and descriptions and even set up an account in her husbands name to collect money.

The scammers claimed to be Christian missionaries who wanted someone to take care of their house while they were gone.

While four people wanted to rent the house, only one sent money to the scammers.

Anytime you rent an individual's home, do your homework first.

You can look through county tax and deed records, and find out who really owns the land.

Contact that owner to make sure the property is being rented, meet them to hand over any deposit, and never wire money to someone you don't know.

Let me know about any scam you see. E-mail me or "like" my ABC 15 Facebook page and tell me about it there.

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