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New rental scam being played out in Bartow Co. | News

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New rental scam being played out in Bartow Co.

CARTERSVILLE, GA (WXIA) – The deals you see on those home-finder websites may not be what they appear to be.


Cartersville is a lot like a lot of communities across metro Atlanta. It's a nice place to live, but there is a tight renters market there. It is the perfect bait to trick someone with a deal that sounds too good to be true.

Like any good Realtor, Travis Popham knows how important it is to use the web to sell a home. But recently, he got a big surprise when he discovered the house he was selling was also for rent online – but not by him. It was for rent by a scammer in Nigeria.

"The listing we had in this site, all the information that we had, was duplicated," Popham said. "Every bit of it was duplicated, except it was placed on the 'For Rent' section of the site, and the contact information was changed to the gentleman's phone number."

With rental inventories low in Cartersville, the lure of getting a nice house, way below current rental rates, is irresistible, and potentially dangerous.

"They're asking for your full name; they're asking for your social security number, maybe drivers license number, address, pretty much anything they can do to get your credit," he said. "Then, I think – speculation – but I think after talking to some of them, I think he had mentioned sending a security deposit of $650."

Unfortunately, there is not much local law enforcement can do about the scam. The bad actors are in Nigeria.

There is a lot, on the other hand, that you can do. Look for the red flags – like a local phone number, does a human being answer the phone number? Are they willing to meet you face-to-face at the property?

If the answers are no, then move on – better yet, go through a Realtor.


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