If you are considering renting a home, make sure that you are positive that property is truly up for rent. Con artists in Las Vegas, Nevada, are taking advantage of extremely slow foreclosure timelines and a plethora of vacant properties to stretch rental scams farther than ever before. It’s not new to advertise a house you don’t own on Craigslist, but now the scammers are actually renting out the houses, collecting security deposits and rent for months on end before the actual owner of the house finds out it has been “rented” or the bank in possession of the property forecloses and evicts the renters who are unlawfully occupying the home[1].

And just because your landlord claims to be a real estate agent or even has a lease agreement or a title does not mean that you are in the clear. You need proof that the landlord, property manager or whoever is collecting the money is actually authorized to do so[2]. Police recommend making sure to only work with licensed realtors or property management firms and asking to see identification. In Clark County, Nevada, you can also call the county assessor’s office to find out who really owns a property before you rent or buy.

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[1] http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2011/10/11/scammers-use-vacant-homes-bait

[2] http://www.ktnv.com/news/local/131365478.html