Looking to rent? Here are tips to avoid getting scammed by fake rental listings

Don’t send deposit without verifying information

Scammers are targeting people who are looking to rent an apartment or home in Metro Detroit. A Southfield couple was targeted by thieves and is sharing their story to prevent others from being scammed.

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Scammers are targeting people who are looking to rent an apartment or home in Metro Detroit.

A Southfield couple was targeted by thieves and is sharing their story to prevent others from being scammed.

An ad was put on Vrbo, a rental website, showing a short-term rental nestled in a secluded section of Southfield. Another ad on Craigslist for the same home makes potential renters think the property is available for long-term rental. It’s not.

Read: Scams were on the rise in 2021: Here’s what to know

Scammers have stolen the images and information from the Vrbo ad and put it on Craigslist. People from across the country are sending deposits to scammers for a place they will not be able to live in.

Richard Burkart and Jeanne Salkowski own the home and feel terrible that so many people are being scammed.

There are some steps you can take to make sure you don’t get scammed. Visit the apartment or home in person and meet with the landlord or owner. Ask for references and never send money before seeing the place you want to rent.

Rental scams are among many scams that have been booming during the COVID pandemic.

Read: Complete Help Me Hank coverage


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.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.