The last few years have seen an explosion of fraudulent real estate transactions. Potential buyers and renters lured by cheap rents or ownership, often jump at opportunities that are not legitimate. Many homes advertised for sale or rent on Craigslist and other online sources may not be real. If the deal is too good to be true, you are likely dealing with a con artist. In order to protect yourself, listed below are tips to help weed out the REAL vs. FAKE. If you follow these guidelines and trust your instincts you should be OK.
1) If you are asked to send a security deposit to another country OR out of the state, the deal is likely a Scam
2) If the rental agent requests money (security deposit/rent), but you have not completed a rental application, the deal is probably a Scam
3) If a real estate agent will not give you the address of their office, the deal is likely a Scam
4) Always view the inside of the home or apartment before providing any money
6) If a REAL ESTATE AGENT or REALTOR is renting the home, ask them to show you their North Carolina Realtor Commission Card, NOT a business card. The card will have a license number on the front, type the number into the following site to confirm if the agent is licensed in North Carolina, Realtor Confirmation
7) Ask the person showing you the house to open ALL of the exterior doors from the outside, this ensures they have the keys to all of the doors. Many scam artist will change the front door lock, but not bother with other doors in the house.