Rental and Real Estate Scams in Chicago

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois criminal law statutesSince the Internet has grown over the past fifteen years, individuals are now able to sell their home or rent part of their home out to others. Even though, with the use of the Internet, communication has been made a lot easier for both parties, there has been a drastic increase in scams during the selling and leasing process.

What Is a Rental or Real Estate Scam?

A rental scam often happens when an individual is trying to sell his or her property online and is contacted by another individual who seems interested in the property. When both parties agree on a set price, then the offender may send a check to the other party to deposit, covering housing expenses.

Methods of Rental or Real Estate Scams

The check will often be written for an excess amount, and the offender may ask for the rest to be sent back. The check may also be written for the exact amount, and the offender may change his or her mind on the rental agreement and ask for a refund. The individual trying to sell or lease the property has access to the funds, believing that the check has cleared. Once the check is found to be counterfeit, this individual has liability by the bank for all financial losses.

Another scam method includes the posting of real estate online. The offender may take postings from legitimate sites, change those postings, and then repost them. He or she may use the name of a real estate agent or broker and create fake e-mail addresses. The offender will often indicate that he or she will be away from the home and need someone to rent the property while away. If another individual is interested, then he or she will be asked to send money to the offender without knowing, and the renter would lose money in this case.

Other types of rental or real estate fraud include but are not limited to:

  • The offender wants to rent or buy the property without first visiting with the seller or lessor of the property;
  • The offender states that he or she is away and wants to send a cashier’s check to the seller or lessor of the property;
  • The payment is greater than what is agreed upon; and
  • There is an urgency to the renting and buying process.

Call a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

Being accused of rental or real estate scamming is very serious and may come with consequences that can negatively impact your life. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, we have represented our Cook County area clients in federal criminal matters for over 28 years, so you will be guaranteed effective legal representation. For a free initial consultation, please call a Chicago criminal defense lawyer at 312-629-0669 to discuss your case.

 

 Source:

https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/news/pressrel/press-releases/common-rental-and-real-estate-scams

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