Rental Scams

TIPS TO AVOID RENTAL SCAMS

Below you will find some tips, from the Newport News Police Department's Economic Crimes Unit, to prevent you from becoming a victim of rental fraud. 

Top Eight Red Flags

  • The listing photos have a watermark or you can tell are “copied-and-pasted.” This is known as a “Clone scam.”
  • The listing details are vague.
  • They are eager for you to rent without seeing the property first.
  • They will make a deal without any background info.
  • They claim to be out of town, too sick, or out of the country and cannot meet you in person.
  • They claim to be renting on behalf of someone else. This is known as a “Middleman scam.”
  • The asking rent does not match rent in area. The price is too good to be true.
  • They want you to wire or mail money to them.

Avoid Rental Scams

  • Meet the landlord or agent in person.
  • See the property in person.
  • Protect yourself; never pay with cash.
  • Have a written lease and read it before signing.
  • Do your research; verify the owner of the property.
  • Check reviews. Many renters will give negative feedback, but very few leave positive reviews.

If You're a Victim of Rental Fraud

  • Contact the Newport News Police Department.
  • Notify the listing website (Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, etc.).
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
  • File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov).


Contact Us

  1. Drew_175px
    Steve R. Drew
    Chief of Police
    Email

    Non-Emergency
    Phone: 757-247-2500
    Emergency: 911

    (757) 928-4300
    9710 Jefferson Ave.
    Newport News, VA 23605

    Hours


    Monday - Friday
    8 AM - 5 PM
    View our Staff Directory

    facebook-icon-40twitter-icon-40instagram-iconnextdoor-iconLinkedIn_Logo

    Escape this Website