Delawareans Warned About Vacation Rental Scams - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delawareans Warned About Vacation Rental Scams

Posted: Apr 04, 2018 4:42 PM Updated:

DELAWARE -- The Consumer Protection Unit of the Delaware Department of Justice warns Delawareans to be careful when looking for a vacation rental.

The department says scammers operating rental schemes find rental postings and capture the information and photos of the property, and then list it on Craigslist or other online advertising platforms. Unsuspecting consumers looking for a good deal on a vacation rental find the posting, send a deposit, and receive confirmation of their rental only to arrive to find other people in the home, unable to gain access, or otherwise turned away from the property they believed they had rented.

Scams also can occur with regards to long term leases for homes or apartments, where scammers may even have changed to locks illegally on a property and allow someone to move in, even though they are not the true owner.

The Consumer Protection Unit says all consumers should be diligent before entering into any type of lease for a rental property or providing any deposit or rental payment by taking these steps first:

  • Consider working with a licensed realtor or property management company when possible.
  • If using an online search engine or website, research whether the property appears on other websites or listing platforms and make contact with the listing agents to determine which is the legitimate advertisement.
  • Research who the true owner of the property is by doing a parcel search online: In Delaware, you can search New Castle County properties, Kent County properties, and Sussex County properties.
  • Carefully review the posting, advertisement or lease for misspellings and grammatical errors.
  • If you are looking at a rental through an online listing site, you should familiarize yourself with the site's policies for detecting and dealing with potentially fraudulent listings.
  • Never pay any security deposit or rental payment in cash—always use a check, money order or credit card—and demand a receipt.
  • For long-term leases:
    • Demand a written lease in advance, that includes the identification and contact information of the landlord, as well as identification of the bank where your security deposit (if applicable) will be held.
    • When possible, request a walk-through before agreeing to rent or paying any deposit.
    • Talk to neighbors to learn more about the property and the owners—be cautious of properties with a recently deceased owner or foreclosure.
    • If you meet the person claiming to be the landlord, request to see their credentials, such as a business card or realtor’s license, and identification; you should also make note of the make and model of their car and the license plate number.

Consumers who believe they may have been scammed should contact their local police department and file a report. They can also call the Attorney General’s toll-free Consumer Hotline at 1-800-220-5424 or email the Consumer Protection Unit of DOJ. If the listing was posted on an online platform, such as Craigslist, the consumer should also file complaints with the online platform and with federal law enforcement at www.ic3.gov.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Scam Warnings In Wake of Hurricane Florence

    Scam Warnings In Wake of Hurricane Florence

    Thursday, September 20 2018 5:09 PM EDT2018-09-20 21:09:14 GMT
    Thursday, September 20 2018 5:09 PM EDT2018-09-20 21:09:26 GMT
    (Photo: MGN)(Photo: MGN)
    (Photo: MGN)(Photo: MGN)
    In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the Investor Protection Unit of the Delaware Department of Justice is warning investors to watch out for opportunistic investment or charitable scams.More
    In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the Investor Protection Unit of the Delaware Department of Justice is warning investors to watch out for opportunistic investment or charitable scams. More
  • Man Arrested After Fight Leads to Discharged Weapon in Laurel

    Man Arrested After Fight Leads to Discharged Weapon in Laurel

    Thursday, September 20 2018 4:53 PM EDT2018-09-20 20:53:01 GMT
    Thursday, September 20 2018 4:53 PM EDT2018-09-20 20:53:01 GMT
    Credit: WBOCCredit: WBOC
    Credit: WBOCCredit: WBOC
    Delaware State Police are investigating an assault that occurred September 19, where two subjects got into a fight before one suspect discharged a firearm into a wooded area.More
    Delaware State Police are investigating an assault that occurred September 19, where two subjects got into a fight before one suspect discharged a firearm into a wooded area.More
  • Updated: 4 Dead, Including Suspect, After Maryland Warehouse Shooting

    'Multiple Victims' Reported in Maryland Shooting

    Thursday, September 20 2018 10:40 AM EDT2018-09-20 14:40:27 GMT
    Thursday, September 20 2018 3:52 PM EDT2018-09-20 19:52:00 GMT
    Police tape outside a Rite Aid distribution center in Aberdeen, Maryland, which was the scene of a Thursday morning shooting that left several people dead. (Photo: CNN Newsource)Police tape outside a Rite Aid distribution center in Aberdeen, Maryland, which was the scene of a Thursday morning shooting that left several people dead. (Photo: CNN Newsource)
    Police tape outside a Rite Aid distribution center in Aberdeen, Maryland, which was the scene of a Thursday morning shooting that left several people dead. (Photo: CNN Newsource)Police tape outside a Rite Aid distribution center in Aberdeen, Maryland, which was the scene of a Thursday morning shooting that left several people dead. (Photo: CNN Newsource)
    A shooting at a Maryland warehouse claimed four lives Thursday, including a female suspect who shot herself in the head, authorities said. Several other people were wounded.More
    A shooting at a Maryland warehouse claimed four lives Thursday, including a female suspect who shot herself in the head, authorities said. Several other people were wounded.           More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Buoy Washes Ashore at Kent County Beach

    Buoy Washes Ashore at Kent County Beach

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 8:00 PM EDT2018-09-20 00:00:00 GMT
    Thursday, September 20 2018 7:46 AM EDT2018-09-20 11:46:48 GMT
    Like many recent visitors to Woodland Beach, Delaware, Christy Raughley was surprised to find a big green buoy sitting on the coast of the small Kent County community.More
    Like many recent visitors to Woodland Beach, Delaware, Christy Raughley was surprised to find a big green buoy sitting on the coast of the small Kent County community. More
  • DSP: Two Sussex County Men Facing Assault Charges

    DSP: Two Sussex County Men Facing Assault Charges

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 9:24 PM EDT2018-09-20 01:24:00 GMT
    Thursday, September 20 2018 7:29 AM EDT2018-09-20 11:29:26 GMT
    (L) Michael R. Milligan (R) Raymond M. Hitchens(L) Michael R. Milligan (R) Raymond M. Hitchens
    (L) Michael R. Milligan (R) Raymond M. Hitchens(L) Michael R. Milligan (R) Raymond M. Hitchens
    Delaware State Police said two Georgetown men were arrested on assault charges after they tried to repossess someone's car and sprayed him with mace.More
    Delaware State Police said two Georgetown men were arrested on assault charges after they tried to repossess someone's car and sprayed him with mace. More
  • Tangier Island Grabs International Attention

    Tangier Island Grabs International Attention

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 5:41 PM EDT2018-09-19 21:41:00 GMT
    Thursday, September 20 2018 7:33 AM EDT2018-09-20 11:33:51 GMT
    Aerial view of Tangier Island from Chopper 16.Aerial view of Tangier Island from Chopper 16.
    Aerial view of Tangier Island from Chopper 16.Aerial view of Tangier Island from Chopper 16.
    A small Accomack County island is in the global spotlight, thanks to erosion concerns and a phone call from the president. Tangier Island has seen an influx of visitors from South America, Europe, Russia and beyond.More
    A small Accomack County island is in the global spotlight, thanks to erosion concerns and a phone call from the president. Tangier Island has seen an influx of visitors from South America, Europe, Russia and beyond. More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Tangier Island Grabs International Attention

    Tangier Island Grabs International Attention

    A small Accomack County island is in the global spotlight, thanks to erosion concerns and a phone call from the President.

    Tangier Island has seen an influx of visitors from South America, Europe, Russia and beyond. Peaking the interest of film crews, journalists, and writers from around the world. In the past year, the mayor of Tangier Island, Ooker Eskridge, said crews from 22 different countries have paid his town a visit.

    More

    A small Accomack County island is in the global spotlight, thanks to erosion concerns and a phone call from the president. Tangier Island has seen an influx of visitors from South America, Europe, Russia and beyond. 

    More
  • Buoy Washes Ashore at Kent County Beach

    Buoy Washes Ashore at Kent County Beach

    Recent visitors to Woodland Beach were surprised to find a big green buoy sitting on the coast of the small Kent County community.

    The buoy started cropping up in photos posted to social media last week, shortly after the remnants of Hurricane Gordon caused big high tides that may have dragged the naval guide to the beach.

    More

    Recent visitors to Woodland Beach were surprised to find a big green buoy sitting on the coast of the small Kent County community.

    The buoy started cropping up in photos posted to social media last week, shortly after the remnants of Hurricane Gordon caused big high tides that may have dragged the naval guide to the beach.

    More
  • Officials: 3 Killed in Shooting at Maryland Rite Aid Center

    Officials: 3 Killed in Shooting at Maryland Rite Aid Center

     Three people were killed Thursday morning in a shooting at a Rite Aid distribution center in northeast Maryland, officials said.           

    A law enforcement official with knowledge of the shooting stressed that the number of dead is based on preliminary information. The official wasn't authorized to discuss details by name and spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.     

    More

     Three people were killed Thursday morning in a shooting at a Rite Aid distribution center in northeast Maryland, officials said.           

    A law enforcement official with knowledge of the shooting stressed that the number of dead is based on preliminary information. The official wasn't authorized to discuss details by name and spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.     

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices