Property Scam Targets Green Country Buyers


Thursday, July 7th 2011, 5:08 pm
By: News On 6


Lori Fullbright, News On 6

BIXBY, Oklahoma -- An old scam with a new twist is circulating in Green Country right now and realtors want you to be warned before you hand over your hard-earned money.

One thing about this scam hasn't changed: the deal being offered is too good to be true.

There's a three-bedroom, two-bath home in Bixby for sale or rent right now. The owner listed it with a reputable realtor, Chinowth and Cohen.

So, imagine how surprised both he and his agent were when his property and his name, ended up on a site called Rentals.com, complete with pictures and a description.

The ad said you could rent it for just $700 a month with a $1,000 deposit. So, lots of folks were interested.

"I'm sure that's a great price and a great location," Eileen Neighbors, with Chinowth and Cohen Realtors, said.

That's also what made a Green Country woman who wanted to rent the house realize it probably wasn't legit. The more she exchanged emails with the so-called owner, the more her suspicions increased.

The phone number he listed wasn't good and the personal one he gave is in the United Kingdom, a big red flag.

Other warning signs: he claimed he'd rent the house for a year because he was moving to London, that no one could show her inside, that he'd mail her the keys after she paid the money and that she should ignore the realty sign in the yard because he wasn't dealing with them anymore.

The best advice, use a reputable property management company through a real estate company.

"If you use someone in the property management business, they'll have access to legitimate records, can contact the owner, will help negotiate the lease and they do all this for no fee," Eileen said. "There's no fee to the potential renter. It makes sense to use a professional."

The Green Country woman figured it out before she sent any money or gave any of her personal information. The actual price to rent the home in Bixby is $1,750 a month.