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Anderson mother haunted by unwanted visitors due to rental scam

Renters think mom's home is for rent, but it's not
Posted at 7:19 PM, Oct 26, 2018

ANDERSON, Ind. -- An Anderson mother says she’s living a nightmare with strangers driving by and visiting her house at all hours of the day.

“I’m living in fear,” said Elizabeth Finley, a mother of three. “I started getting notes on my door, people started driving by and just going really slow. I have no privacy at this point.”

Finley moved into an Anderson rental house with her nephew and three kids after the death of her sister.

“We wanted a fresh start,” said Finley. “But, within a month of moving in, people started leaving notes on my door.  People started walking around my house and looking in windows.”

Finley said a woman knocked on her door and asked when she was moving.

The woman said she’d given a realtor $800 to rent Finley’s house.

But, Finley’s house is not up for rent.

As Call 6 Investigates has reported, rental scammers are listing homes that aren’t theirs to try to get money out of unsuspecting consumers.

RELATED | Anderson woman fell for rental scam

Finley did some checking and found her property listed on rental websites.

She got so fed up, Finley posted signs that read “NOT FOR RENT #SCAM” on her driveway, but people still kept showing up to her door.

Finley texted the supposed realtor and told him to stop using her property.

She also contacted Anderson Police, who told RTV6 they are investigating.

Finley reached out to Call 6 Investigates.

“I don’t know what to do,” said Finley.

Call 6 Investigates contacted the person who is listing Finley’s property online.

The person responded, saying the property is available for rent if we can pay $800.

The supposed realtor stopped responding when Call 6 Investigates Kara Kenney revealed she’s with RTV6 and working on a story about rental scams.

Elizabeth Finley was able to get the online rental websites to take down the listings with her address.

She wants others to know rental scams are out there.

“If it sounds too good to be true it probably is,” said Finley. “Do your research.  If you can’t meet the landlord in person, that’s a big thing.”

Finley wants to stop the unwanted visits because they’re downright scary.

BBB offers the following tips to avoid a rental property scam: 

  • Watch out for deals that are too good. Scammers lure you in by promising low rents, extra amenities, great locations, and other perks. If the price seems much better than offered elsewhere, it may be a scam. Search online for the listings, or the scammer’s email address or phone number. If you find the same ad listed in other cities, or the same property on different sites with different dollar amounts, that’s a huge red flag.  
  • Resist the sense of urgency.  Scammers often give a sense of urgency in their requests for a deposit due to high interest in the property.  They also appear to be very eager to offer you the lease without doing any kind of background checks. 
  • See the property in person. Don’t send money or share your personal information with someone you’ve never met for a property you haven’t seen. If you can’t visit an apartment or house yourself, ask someone you trust to go and confirm that it is what was advertised. And be suspicious of the out-of-state/overseas landlord story: Scammers often claim to be out of the state or country and instruct targets to send money to areas that can’t be traced.

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