Fraud Alert: Home Shoppers and Renters Beware

The Charlestown Police Department has recently received a few complaints regarding attempts to fraud individuals looking for homes to rent or sell.  The scam involves individuals posting ads on social media and sell websites; including Craigslist, claiming to be responsible for area homes already up for sale or rent.  These scammers are asking for a “good faith” down payment or “deposit to secure” a home of interest; before being able to see its interior.  The scammers collect the down payment or deposit, usually through electronic transfer methods, and are never hear from or able to be contacted again.

Don’t fall prey to a scammer, always protect yourself and be extremely cautious when entertaining business deals.

  • Never make business deals over the phone or internet, they are meant for in person.
  • Never pay money to secure a deal before having a chance to physically and thoroughly inspect your purchase.
  • Never provide financial or banking information until it is time to sign a contract and finalize the deal.
  • Do some resource on the property and people you are dealing with; including with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Complaints through the Better Business Bureau are a red flag.
  • Residence & property ownership information is a matter of public record with the County Assessor’s Office.
  • If an individual claims to represent a realtor, call the realtor company and confirm it using public info sources.
  • Remember, sometimes if a deal seems to good to be true, chances are it is scam.

For more information and tips on protecting yourself, visit the Federal Trade Commissions website at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0060-10-things-you-can-do-avoid-fraud.