Be Careful Out There

As we were getting the kids ready for the day, I received a call from a 423 number. Since we had just closed on a property in that area the day before, I thought they might be related. The person on the other line introduced herself and mentioned that we had been texting back and forth about a property I had for rent. Quite confused, she gave me the address and I confirmed. She said she felt uneasy about the transaction, because she was not allowed to do a walk through before signing the lease. I had just received a signed lease and walk move-in checklist, so I was a bit confused. Again, not thinking too much into it I assured her that the lease was legitimate and listed all of the items I was addressing as good faith for the new tenant, her. After a pleasant conversation, I texted my property manager with a question than made complete sense to me. Thirty minutes later, he called me.

He said he was pretty confused about my text. He’s confused? Now I’m confused. He walked through all of the showings with the newly signed tenant and confirmed that the house was rented. He then explained to me how a lot of people in the Huntsville area were posting craiglist ads for homes listed for rent on Zillow and scamming people out of their down payment. In a panic, I quickly jumped on the phone to find the person I spoke to just thirty minutes earlier. The number went to a school and all I had was a common first name. Fully expecting to get hung up on, I explained the situation to the front desk and gave them the her name. The response was more than reasonable; there are lot of people with that name here, do you have a last name? In the hopes of catching our dear friend in time before deposit money was sent, I just asked to be forwarded to the first one and then I can work my way through the rest. Luckily, the front desk was able to figure it out and forwarded me to the right one.

She must have thought I was insane because the first thing I blurted was, “DON’T SEND THE MONEY! IT’S A SCAM! YOU’RE GETTING SCAMMED!” I explained to her what my agent told me. She sent me my passport and the lease agreement along with a certificate of ownership, just because I was curious to see what the scammer was doing. We both had a nice little chuckle at “my passport.” With a sigh of relief, we went on our separate ways. A happy ending to start the day!

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