Man claims his young son has cancer as part of Las Vegas rental scam
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) -A realtor and his client knew something wasn’t right about a recent rent-to-own advertisement on Zillow in Las Vegas.
An owner was asking for only $1,000 monthly rent for a two-bedroom, two-bath home. And the purchase price was only $120,000.
FOX5 confirmed with a rental company the home is not for sale, only for rent. Another red flag was a photo the supposed owner sent to the client. He told the client he wouldn’t be able to meet with her because he was in Houston, Texas caring for his two-year-old son with cancer.
“That was a big red flag and started making me go, ‘this is disgusting, really. This is really despicable what they’re doing,’” said realtor Rob Hau.
There was something else stunning when Hau and his client visited the home to check it out. His client got the scammer on the phone, who was able to open the front door remotely for them.
“When I saw that they had access to the electronic lock, that blew my mind. This has already been a little bit different than the scams I’ve seen in the 14 years that I’ve been doing business in Las Vegas,” said Hau.
The fake Zillow ad included the scammer’s phone number. FOX5 exchanged text messages with the scammer, and he told us exactly what he told Hau’s client, that the home was a rent-to-own deal. FOX5 learned the home had been rented by someone as we were being told it was still available.
The rental company told FOX5 that people must register and set up an account to tour rental homes. It said potential renters will get a door code to check out a property.
Officials told us they believe the scammer got the code by registering and then opened the door for Hau and his client. Company officials tell FOX5 it’s investigating what happened.
Red flags of a rental scam include rent prices that look too good to be true, or someone who says they can’t meet to provide details about a rental or let someone inside. Also, be wary if someone wants a cash deposit or gift cards as payment. Another red flag includes someone or a company that does not require a background check.
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