Rental scams ensnare more Houstonians, HAR reports

by Patrick Regan

The Houston Association of Realtors® is partnering with Crime Stoppers of Houston and Clear Channel Outdoor to curb rental fraud.

HAR and its partners launched a public awareness campaign this week that includes electronic billboards and other outreach to address the problem, according to a news release.

The scams typically involve legitimate rental listings, stolen from online postings, which are then used to create fake rental advertisements offering the property at a large discount. The scammer attempts to collect a deposit or lease payment from potential tenants, then disappears once the money is in hand.

The scams disproportionately target minorities and people who may not have experience with the rental process. Houstonians have been increasingly victimized in these scams in recent months, HAR said.

Clear Channel Outdoor is donating space on its digital billboards to raise awareness of the scams.

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