Beware of a Rental Scam on Facebook Marketplace in Troup, Texas
Scammers are the absolute worst. They have a plethora of ways to steal your money or your personal information. They will disguise it as a fancy giveaway or some sob story to pull at your heart strings to get your money. Scammers have also been able to trick people into renting a home. They'll do this by offering a too good to be true down payment and monthly rent and asking to use a cash app to deposit the money. Someone is doing this in the Troup, Texas. Here's how not to become a victim of this scam.
Crazy Housing Market
The housing market has been absolutely nuts for a while. Even though it seems to be calming down a bit that doesn't mean that people are not looking for a new place to live. Me and my girlfriend have been actively looking for a bigger place and the pickings are slim. Don't fret, we, and you, will find something even though it's very hard right now. One place to avoid looking is Facebook Marketplace. While there are some legitimate rental home listings, it's very easy to put up a fake ad for a rental property using the real pictures from a rental company.
This was several months ago but as I turned on the road to our townhome in Lindale, there was a U-Haul in front of one the duplexes that lines the street before our townhome. In front of that U-Haul was two sheriff's officers. The next day I found out that a scammer had used the rental company's pictures from the website and gotten access to the code used for a self tour to scam a couple out of their money thinking they were getting into a new home. They had packed up everything they owned to get into this new home and were now homeless.
If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
A Similar Situation Happening in Troup
The Troup Police Department put out a notice last week (June 22) on their Facebook page about a scam on Facebook Marketplace. The scam lists a home for rent that isn't theirs to rent out. The scammers will send an application in the mail and ask for the rental deposit to be deposited into Cash App. The victims will then get a set of keys in the mail that will not work on the house they thought they were able to move into.
How to Spot a Scam Like This
The first red flag will be to deposit any payments (application fee, deposit, etc.) into a cash app. Legitimate rental companies have their own portals set up for this. Another red flag is if you're never given an opportunity to tour the house with the rental agent. Legitimate rental companies will also never mail the keys to your current home, either.
If you see something like this, do not hesitate to report it to your local police department. Someone will think this is a legitimate transaction, fall victim to the scam and end up homeless.
The Troup Police Department is actively investigating a scam through Facebook Market Place and want the public to be aware. The suspect(s) are posting rental properties and asking for victims to fill out a rental application (photo attached) and send their deposit using Cash App. Once the deposit is made, the suspect(s) will advise they will be mailing the keys to your current address and will send you a photo. PLEASE BE AWARE OF THESE POTENTIAL SCAMS. If you feel something is not right, feel free to contact the police department and we will answer any questions you may have.