Metro police warn of new real estate scam - WSMV Channel 4

Metro police warn of new real estate scam

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The woman said she never heard back after pointing out it sounded like a scam. (WSMV) The woman said she never heard back after pointing out it sounded like a scam. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Metro police say scam artists are taking advantage of Nashville’s hot real estate market.

A Nashville renter told Channel 4 on Wednesday she didn’t want to share her identity, but did want to share her story.

"This is the actual house," the woman said as she showed a picture of a home on her phone.

The listing said four bedrooms in a good neighborhood for just $900 a month.

The owner said even though he was out of town, he could give the potential renter a code to the key box so she could look around. All she had to do was enter her credit card information.

"He said he couldn't provide a code for me because I needed to register on a website because he needed to know who was coming in and out of his house," the woman said.

But this savvy renter didn't fall for it. If she had, she would have ended up at a very different dead end.

"I texted him I said, 'I think this is a scam. I'm going to report it to the police.' And after that, he never replied again," she said.

"Without this police report I don't even know about this type of stuff. This was one that was not on my radar," said Sgt. Michael Warren with Metro's fraud unit.

Warren said he's never seen this scam before, though he's not totally surprised because, right now, Nashville's real estate market is full of potential victims.

"Urgency is the big thing with real estate because everybody wants that next great deal, that apartment for $1,300 instead of $2,500. There's a reason to be suspicious about that," Warren said.

Police are now warning potential renters if they can't meet face to face, walk away. They also say use a credible realtor.

"These online classified websites, they don't vet any of these postings. They have no idea whether it's legitimate or not," Warren said.   

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