Pekin Police are warning the public about a renting scam that has returned to the area.
Pekin Public Information Officer Mike Eeten says that they have received a number of complaints lately about scammers on Craigslist offering homes for rent that they don’t own.
Victims are asked to send deposit money to hold properties that are actually on the market for sale through a local realtor. The scammers are posting pictures that they have lifted from realtor’s ads.
“They’ll say if you want this property, you’ve got to secure it by sending a deposit to this place. And, so the people will comply with that,” said Eeten.
Victims not only lose their deposit money, but they are sometimes the subject of “suspicious persons” calls to police when homeowners report someone snooping around their property.
“They’re thinking that they’ve rented this house. And, they’ll actually show up at that house, looking around, taking pictures. And, of course the homeowner is surprised they’re there,” said Eeten.
Pekin Police say the mistake victims have made is sending deposit money without meeting the potential landlord in person or on-site.
Anyone that has fallen victim to the rental scam, or who has questions, is asked to contact the Pekin Police Department at (309) 346-3132.
(Photo: Shutterstock.com-Karen Roach)