Rental property scam targets prospective renters in Columbus

Rental property scam targets prospective renters in Columbus
Scam alert (Source: WALB)

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Columbus police are warning the community of a recent scam they have seen increased cases of targeting renters.

Police say the unknown suspects place ads on websites posing as property owners or real estate agents.

The scammers only make contact with interested buyers or renters via text message and ask for payment through CashApp for a down payment or the first month’s rent.

Once the victim sends the money, the scammer changes their phone number or refuses to respond to text messages or answer phone calls.

Police say that the names being used for the scams in the Columbus area are Frederick Cummings, Corina Valdez and Sebastian Varela.

They also say that when you go to the legitimate website www.socialserve.com, you can be redirected to the fraudulent www.socialservce.com, which they believe is a gateway for the scammers. Check the website you are actually using before putting in any information.

Anyone who has experienced this scam, is asked to contact the CPD Financial Crimes Unit at 706-653-3424.

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