Beware of renter scams out on the Internet.
With low inventory of available property for rent, and rent rapidly increasing throughout the metropolitan area, many people searching for affordable rental property are falling victim to scams.
Desperate for a place to live, property hunters are finding deals too good to be true, and sending money to the listing contact/Landlord/Property owner to secure a key to see this gem of a property.
The listings appear as a broker-advertised listing, and the contact information appears legitimate, but guess what, the owner is unavailable to show you the property because they were stationed overseas rather suddenly, or out they are out of the country indefinitely, so they appear desperate to rent out their property and therefore they are offering the property at a low, low, price.
All you have to do is deposit a specific amount of money in the identified PayPal account, and the money would be held by PayPal until directed to release the funds by returning the funds to you the potential renter, because the property was not what you were looking for, but just in case it was and you release the funds to the person advertising the property.
Once the money is deposited into the PayPal account, the owner will send the key for you to go look at the property. I will leave it up to your imagination as to what happens. In addition, some of these scammers are very,very, good.
In one incident, the scammer stole a woman's name from public property tax records, set up a Yahoo account with the woman's name and advertised her condo for rent, using the actual real property address (but oops they did not indicate a unit number). This way, if someone gets suspicious, and is savvy enough to look up a tax record for a property, it really, really looks authentic. It's not. Don't send your money to anyone for any reason in these cases.