MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Imagine putting down a deposit on a rental home thinking you’re set to move in, only to find out weeks later it was all a scam. Revitalize Realty in Mobile has over 400 rental properties in their portfolio and their large presence is making them a target for scammers.
“There are scammers out there that are stealing our pictures and just putting them on Facebook Marketplace and trying to get people to send them money,” said Melissa Goodman with Revitalize Realty, which markets properties in Mobile and Baldwin counties.
She says the problem is happening daily and it’s been ongoing for weeks.
“Some days we might get as many as 8 or 9 calls,” added Goodman.
The person uses their marketing photos and information, then duplicates the ad, getting creative with their excuses as to why they can’t meet with the renter in person.
“I can’t make it there to show you, but just ride by and look at it. You can look through the windows or whatever they can do to get them convinced to send them money,” she said, describing how the scammers are able to get away with their deception.
Goodman says people continue falling for the scam, signing fake leases and losing deposits when they think they’re moving in, only to find out their search is far from over.
“I’m very sad for the people who have actually sent money to these people and lost it. We’re currently working with the police now to try and help them to get their money back and for the police to be able to find who’s doing this,” she said.
The company reminds everyone their listings are available directly on their website.