Online Rental Scams & How-To Avoid Them with Guest John Evarts


Online Rental Scams & How-To Avoid Them with Guest John Evarts

Today, on somehow we manage, we chat with our special guest, John Evarts, owner of California Leasing Property Management and Honu Coffee here in the City of Santa Clarita. Oh, and he’s kind of our boss too.

PLUS we’re talking about online rental scams and how we’re working to help avoid them for our clients. Both homeowners, and residents, can fall victim to rental scams, and we’re working on doing our best to help them navigate the winding road to come out on the other side.

Some of the scams we’ve come across in our travels:

  • Sending payment links to fake PayPal or Venmo services that don’t link to the actual service but are branded with the logo. The key is to look at the link in the domain box in the browsers to see if it’s actually the right tool.
  • Wire transfers requests for low amounts for deposits, like $500 down to move-in sent via IM or through fake email accounts for property management companies
  • Meet up with cash or money order, and I’ll give you the keys in hand with no hassle – this one seems obvious but I guess it’s still happening.
  • Marketplace rental posts for roommates, sublease a takeover of a lease, or renting a house for a stupid amount of money.

Here are some of our favorite tips to avoid some of these scams:

  • Always make sure the tenant is aware you have an office with a physical address to drop off funds, and that you have the appropriate licenses, etc.
  • Share with them that we only communicate using company email addresses and not social media or personal email accounts.
  • Make sure the client knows we will never ask you to pay us via PayPal or Venmo, nor will be send a link to pay us via any social media channels or text message.
  • Educate them on the application process whenever possible so that they understand they will never communicate with anyone other than employees listed on your website or assign them one point of contact for the entire process.