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Renter beware: scammers are out there

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OMAHA, Ne (FOX42KPTM) - Summer vacations are just around the corner. If you're planning to go somewhere and are looking into renting a home, you'll want to make sure you're confident about what you're getting into.

George Turner at one point thought he had found his dream home on Craigslist. That dream ended up getting shattered. He says the person he was in contact with seemed like a person of faith and could be trusted.

"It was something I thought was God-inspired," said Turner.

It wasn't, it turned out to be a scam and here's how it happened. The scammer offered the home at an affordable price of $500 a month using that as bait. He also used biblical language as a hook and said the home was available right away. According to the Federal Trade Commission, it's one of the many ways scammers will operate.

Another red flag includes being asked to sign something before you see something. Turner was asked to wait for a package to get to his current home. It included a lease, which turned out to be phony, and a return envelope to send in a check.

According to the FTC, it's in your best interest to actually meet a landlord or online lister in person before committing to anything. Communication through e-mail or phone only could end up leading to trouble for you.

Realtors tell FOX 42 News scammers will also use disposable phones. They say it's much harder for law enforcement to track the bad guys that way.

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