Beware of rent scams that are propping up throughout the nation and are proliferating in Ventura County, especially through anonymous, online classified outlets like Craigslist.
According to an article in the VCStar entitled, Camarillo Police warn about possible rent scam:
Camarillo police are warning the public about online rent listings in which someone offers a key in return for a deposit but does not own the property.
Investigators say people who do this often use websites to post bogus ads. When contacted, they often say they live out of the country, cannot show the property and will send photos. The applicant will be asked to wire money in exchange for the keys.
Police say anyone looking to rent property should never send money without being shown the residence by the owner or a real estate agent. Applicants also should be wary of rent deals that seem too good to be true.
Also, if you are doubtful of whether or not someone is who they say they are (the owner of the property), contact a Realtor and ask them to do a search of the tax records for the property. Those will often show exactly who the owner is. These tax records are public record.