Rental scams becoming serious problem in Metro Detroit as criminals capitalize on COVID-19 fears

Online ads promote rental properties across area

Landlord scammers take advantage of pandemic to get your money

Rental scams are starting to become a serious problem in Metro Detroit as high-tech criminals take advantage of fears about the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Hundreds of online advertisements are promoting rental properties across the area, but officials with the Better Business Bureau said beware of potential scams.

Criminals are posting fake ads and sometimes saying they can’t show anyone the properties because of the threat from COVID-19.

Another red flag is if they demand cash up front or ask for payments through gift cards.

You can watch Hank Winchester’s full report and hear from an expert with the BBB in the video posted above.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.