Local Nearly Falls Victim To Home Rental Scam

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Another scam is making the rounds.

A scammer found a home for sale in Fort Smith and decided to put it up for rent on Craigslist well below market value.

"They put out the emails and hope somebody will be desperate enough to send them the money to secure the property. Then the keys never come," said the actual realtor for the home, James Vitale.

Vikki Harriet nearly fell victim.

"I was really angry. This is the second time I've almost been scammed on Craigslist," she explained.

The scammer told her he was moving to Connecticut to be with his family and then sent her an application form.

"He also included in there that it's $550 a month and that includes utilities. That definitely set up a red flag," she said.

Scammers use tricks like these to sweeten the pot. To make you more likely to send money and fast.

"Just never send money without always insisting on a face to face transaction," said Vitale.

Another thing to keep in mind, he says, is to always call the realtor on the sign in front of the house first.

Vitale says if you're buying from out of town, find someone to check the house for you. And if you can't find a friend or family member to do so, he says searching for an actual property manager is the best idea.

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