Would-be renters get sucked in by online ads with unrealistically cheap rent, plus real photos, addresses and descriptions that scammers copy from MLS listings.
When eager renters respond, they’re told to mail in a rental deposit in exchange for keys, which of course never arrive. Some agents have had potential renters show up at homes they’ve listed, insisting they have the right to occupy the property. It’s a bad feeling all around.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing MRIS or your local Realtor Association can do to prevent this “property identity theft.” Realtors and the victims can contact craigslist, the police, FBI and/or consumer protection agencies.