Father loses 1000’s in Atlanta rental fraud

Acquiring a house or apartment to lease can place you in the crosshairs of a fraud. There is tiny inventory and plenty of curiosity, and scammers hope to rush your final decision so you ignore crimson flags. Raphael Webster was taken for practically $2,000.

He has a new infant, works total time, and has a tight spending budget in a quite expensive metropolis. But, he found a little something in Decatur. It was perfect, or so he considered he believed it was.

I had a house and a housewarming occasion. Everyone came by and introduced gifts and everything. It was real pleasant,” he instructed the FOX 5 I-Staff. 

And with a new little one, producing a house in a safe and sound community was essential to him.

“I believed it was a fantastic deal,” he recalled. 1-thousand dollars a month, $1,700 down payment.”

Realtor Alex Wilkinson manages the residence.

“I stated it on a Monday and experienced 130 inquiries that day. I have never found everything like it.”

He rented this Decatur household, but not to Raphael.

“When we got there and opened the entrance door, there was furnishings there, and another person was residing on the property,” the extended-time, community real estate agent stated.

Raphael advised us that he’d been in the rental house a minimum a week before the real estate agent arrived knocking. He advised us what he informed law enforcement investigators that he discovered an advertisement for the residence on the web, named the amount, then went to see the house.

Alex Wilkinson, the real estate agent, mentioned, this had occurred to him two times in a thirty day period. He explained in both of those situations, the household had a self-touring lockbox. He suggests he no for a longer period uses these on his rentals simply because of the fraud possible.


You get the rental’s crucial by uploading your ID to an application to confirm who you are, then you get a code to entry the household key in the box and you are in.

“What the con artist is undertaking is going on to that internet site and locating out what places have these packing containers, and then they are operating ads for these qualities. Then, they’re telling the possible tenant to take out the crucial from the lockbox when they’ve wired the dollars,” Wilkinson said.

Typically the new renter has compensated, has a important now, and moves in in advance of noticing they’ve been taken for countless numbers of pounds.


Raphael Webster now acknowledges the pink flags: non-traceable payment working with wire or funds transfers, even payment apps not assembly the male who said he owned the residence and all company was performed on the phone.

“The actuality that I hardly ever fulfilled him was kinda a purple flag, but he applied the pandemic and things.”

The price tag was too fantastic, properly below market place price, and he in no way crossed-checked the listing. This indicates that a straightforward Google lookup may perhaps have proven that there ended up various listings for the handle. If he had, he would’ve located the authentic, additional high-priced advertisement for the household.

His assistance is, “Really don’t wire anybody income until you have satisfied them or verified who they say they are.”

Enjoy: FOX 5 Atlanta live information protection


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