Harriet (Jadwiga) Maj

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(708) 870-1802

Harriet (Jadwiga) Maj's Blog

Beware of Rent Scams

Posted On: March 10th, 2020 10:15PM

Another Scammer! What the heck is going on with this world???


A few days ago I received a call from someone who was very excited about finding a rental for a great price, and they no longer needed my services. Upon hearing the details, I knew right away it was a scam. My client could not understand why I felt this was a scam.  I told them I would send them a link to a facebook live I did on the subject, after our conversation, I decided to upload the video to my  youtube  channel which allows me to share the message to more people. 


Rental Scams ring as true today, as they  did back in 2019 when I went live on Facebook, to discuss rental scams at an Oak lawn home I had listed for for sale.  Although my experience with rental scams goes back much further than that.   The first time I personally experienced a rental scam was back in 2014 on an Orland Park Home I had listed for sale.  At that time, I had only heard of rental scams in private real estate groups.  You see, many of us Realtors ® were ashamed that this was happening to our listings.  What were we doing wrong? How can we prevent this?  We shared as much information as we could amongst ourselves to stay informed and proactive. 


When it happened to me, the first thing I did was call the owner and explained the situation. He was shocked and concerned about his home which he had already moved out of.  You see, scammers steal pictures and addresses of vacant homes and instruct people to drive by and look in the windows, and they always have a great reason for why they can't get you in. Someone keeps steeling the keys, or we are stuck in a different state or country.  Always some excuse or other that sounds plausible. After getting the owners permission, I proceeded with the other steps to secure the home, and prevent others from getting scammed. 


The next thing I did was print out  Notices I made for the front, side and back doors notifying people that this property is not for rent and to not believe the rental scam and contact myself or the local police department for additional information, next I flagged all the sites I found the property on..  Thankfully the wonderful person who drove by to look at the home as instructed, had informed me of the rental sites she found it on, so I knew where to start.  If It hadn't been for that lady, who seen my for sale sign in the yard and decided to trust her senses, I am certain someone would have moved into the property.  I have seen it happen to others over the years! Unfortunately the next phone call I received as I was headed to the Orland Park Police department to make a report, was from someone who actually already wired the $1,000 earlier that day and had gone to the house as instructed by the owner to gain access and noticed the notices on the door.  


I hope you watch my video, and share the message.  No one is above getting scammed. I did everything in my power to protect my clients asset, and everything fell into place for him and his family.  We were able to successfully negotiate a contract for the sale of his home and close. 


Unfortuantely the rental scam is still going strong.  Please do the following if you find a rental that is too good to be true


1. google the address and see what other sites it comes up on

2. If you see the property listed for sale, or for a higher price, contact the listing agent, company, or owner.

3. Do not wire any money without first viewing the interior of the property and verifying that is the owner.

4. Call a trusted advisor that can do some research for you.

5. Please be alert to all scams


Good Luck, and if I can ever be of assistance with your Real Estate Needs, please do not hesitate in contacting me at 708-870-1802


Harriet Maj

HomeSmart Realty Group

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