Only on WTOL: Adrian Police warn residents of rental scam

ADRIAN, MI (Toledo News Now) - Adrian Police are warning residents of a scam involving real estate rental properties. Toledo News Now talked to police for the exclusive details.

Police say this scam has been occurring nationally for awhile, but has just recently made its way into Lenawee County and it's costing victims hundreds of dollars.

According to police, the scam artists will post pictures of actual real estate listings on Craigslist or Facebook with a believable rental advertisement. They ask the potential renters to send a security deposit and first month's rent payment, usually via a Green Dot Money Card, which is untraceable.

"[Victims] send someone money to put a down payment on a home," said Adrian Deputy Chief Laurence Van Alstine. "And then when they arrive, thinking they can move in or look at the house, they find out that somebody actually lives there."

Police say the best thing you can do to avoid becoming a victim of this kind of scam is never send money blindly over the internet, and remember: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

"They don't pick bad houses, they pick very nice homes and the prices are right and people are ready to move and not ready to buy, they want to rent," said Van Alstine. "They send that money, they get it locked down and they end up with nothing."

If you come across this scam, you should call police immediately.

{Editor's note: This story was originally published featuring an image that did not correlate to the story. We regret the error.}

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