EBPD warns of ‘house for rent’ scam

Published 9:11 am Wednesday, August 9, 2023

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East Brewton Police Chief Kenny Brazile said at least four people in East Brewton have been victims of an on-line/social media scam involving houses for rent.

The scam apparently lists properties on social media pages that indicate homes in the Brewton and East Brewton area are available for rent according to Brazile.

“These scammers find vacant houses and list those homes as being available for rent,” Brazile said. “But, those house aren’t for rent. They don’t own them and they don’t even intend to rent the homes to people.”

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Brazile said the scammers take calls from interested renters and explain the need to send money to hold the home for them.

“They are telling people they need to send them money through some sort of cash app to hold the house for them,” Brazile said. “The victims have sent money to hold their place in line for the rental property without ever having met the people they are hoping to rent from in all of those cases.”

With the limited number of available rental properties in the area, scammers are giving hope to those looking for a decent, inexpensive place to live by becoming renters.

“If you see a house for rent and they ask you to pay any kind of down payment or security deposit through a cash app, be careful,” Brazile said. “If they ask you to do that, it is likely a scam.”

Brazile encouraged potential renters to be aware of this current scam and always make sure to see the property and appropriate documents before handing over money.