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Police Again Warn Public of House Rental Scam

Posted January 16, 2013, 10:37 AM HST
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This Hilo home in escrow last year was used in an on-line rental scam. File photo.

Big Island police are again warning the public about a rental house scam.

A South Kohala woman who answered an ad posted on a website for a home supposedly for rent on Kawaihae Road  was told to fill out an on-line rental application and then wire $2,258 via Western Union to cover the first month’s rent, security deposit and a deposit on the house keys.

The person purporting to be renting the home claimed to be living in the United Kingdom, police said.

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When the woman did not receive the keys via DHL shipment as promised she became suspicious and drove to the street address for the rental. There she saw a “For Sale” sign in front of the house and, after contacting the real estate company listed, found that the home was not being offered for rent by the owners.

Police advise prospective renters not to make arrangements to rent property without first confirming that the person offering to rent the property is the owner or an authorized rental agent.

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