OVIEDO, Fla. - Renters beware! What you see online may not be what you get.
"Honestly, it was very disturbing. I felt violated honestly," said Esther Nobels.
Nobels says her family is renting out a home in Oviedo. She says someone took the photographs she had online to make a fake post, lowering the monthly rent and adding new contact information.
"He gave the address to this gentleman to go view the property and the access code to the lockbox, and it was correct," Nobels explained, adding she’s not sure how the scammer obtained the correct code.
Nobels says that almost-victim contacted her after he became suspicious that it was all a scam. Experts say this kind of thing is happening all the time.
"There are many different ways to scam people. It’s very challenging," said Courtney Poulos, ACME Real Estate Florida co-founder.
Poulos says scammers are also targeting vacation and foreclosed homes.
"The first sign… are you actually talking to the owner of the property? And if they ask you to send a deposit without actually meeting you on-site or send an application with you seeing the property in person, I would be very cautious. I would not proceed," she said.
Nobels says she’s grateful to the person who contacted her about the scam so she can get the word out.
"I know a lot of people are desperate for homes right now. Everyone is looking to rent or to buy and a lot of people are out of town. They’re the most vulnerable," Nobels said.
She says Facebook pulled down the fake post.
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