Yandex warns of fake online rental ads in Yekaterinburg
"The accuracy of these ads is one of the serious real estate market problems, especially on the rented housing market," the company said, according to Ural Business Consulting. "Agencies often upload ads on premises that do not exist in order to lure in customers. In Yekaterinburg and Sverdlovsk Region, this accounts for 85 percent to 86 percent of ads."
Online ads will often display a property that is available to rent, asking that interested parties to wire money to the scam artist, who is posing as the property's owner. Victims will not realize the transaction was a fraud until after arriving at the property, only to realize it is not a legitimate rental.
Aol Real Estate reported in March about one couple who found a property on Craigslist, wired $1,000 to the renter, received the keys and moved into an empty house. Days later, police arrived at the property demanding that the couple leave the property, which was available for rent, but not by the scam artist they had sent their deposit to.
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