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Las Vegas Issues Alert on Foreclosure Rental Scam

Local media in Las Vegas are reporting that unsuspecting renters are falling victim to an elaborate fraud scheme involving vacant foreclosures.
[IMAGE] Con artists are combing the Las Vegas Valley for homes that have been sitting empty for an extended period of time â€" such properties aren't hard to come by in the foreclosure-ridden area.

They then advertise the home as ""for rent"" on such sites as Craig's List, and even in the region's largest newspaper the _Las Vegas Review-Journal_.


According to Las Vegas' KTNV-13 News, the perpetrators are posing as real estate agents, doctoring up fake lease agreements, and even going so far as to change the locks on the house.

The scam can go on for months before the renters learn they've been taken. Oftentimes that news comes from the foreclosing bank when it shows up to evict any remaining occupants.

In one incident in which the police were called in, the victims were bilked out of a $3,500 security deposit and first month's rent, according to the local television station. They described the suspects as a woman and two men who drove a BMW and looked ""wealthy,"" with a San Diego address for accepting payment.

The Metro Police told KTNV-13 News that this type of criminal activity is happening more and more in neighborhoods across the valley.

Local officials are warning consumers to make sure they are only doing business with a licensed real estate agent or property manager, and to verify ownership of the home through the Clark County Assessor's website.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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