A real estate scam falsely listing houses for rent that are actually offered for sale by someone else, is occurring on the Big Island, according to the Hawaii Police Department.
A Hilo woman, whose house is listed for sale, learned someone had posted her property on Craigslist as a rental home. When she emailed the person who posted the bogus rental listing, that person posed as the owner, claimed to be out of the country, and asked the victim to wire $800 to the foreign country in exchange for a rental agreement and house key, police said.
The bogus “owner” also advised the real owner to disregard the “for sale” sign in front of the house and not to contact the real estate agent named on the sign, police said.
Prospective renters should not make arrangements to rent property without confirming that the person offering the property for rent is the owner or authorized rental agent, police said.