MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — It happens more often than you think, people falling victim to home rental scams. And, it’s happening in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Murfreesboro Police fraud investigators are warning to look out for scammers hoping to steal your money when it comes to home rentals.

Investigators said, since the beginning of this year, 22 people have fallen victim.

“These scammers often use online sites like Craigslist to post the rental properties,” said Detective Steven Vajcner. “They often steal photos and information of legitimate listing and make fake ads.”

In one case, the victim lost more than $4,000 by transferring money through the Cash App for an alleged deposit that included first month’s rent and a lock box removal fee. She even moved into the home, but police said, when she went out of town due to an emergency she got an eviction notice. When she called the company that was evicting her, they said she had been scammed.

A similar incident happened to a woman after seeing a home for rent on Facebook. The victim sent the alleged landlord rent and fees totaling more than $4,000 through Walmart money transfer. “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” Vajcner said. “Before you send money to a landlord, do your homework first.”

Detective Vajcner said there are red flags to watch for and referred to the Greater Nashville Realtors for tips on how to avoid being scammed.

  • Always see the property in person, inside and out
  • Search the address to verify if it’s for sale or being rented already
  • Search public records to verify you’re in contact with the owner
  • Do not pay money until you have a copy of the lease
  • Do not give them personal information until you’re ready to do business

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Meanwhile, the 22 rental scams in Murfreesboro remain under investigation.