Real Estate Rental Scam Alert
The Swatara Township Police have received several reports of internet based scams in which the Victim's believed they were renting houses that were listed by legitimate real estate agents and electronically transferred funds to overseas entities. In these scams the suspects find a house listed for sale or rent on the internet, copy and paste all of the information provided by the real estate agent listing into their own Craigslist ad for the rental of the house that was listed for sale. In most cases the Victims visit the property and see that it is being held for sale or rent by a real estate agent and believe the ad posted by the scammers to be legitimate. In order to "reserve" the rental the Victims are required to electronically transfer funds to the scammer at which time the scam is complete. There is no way to identify the scammers as they are using multiple layers of internet addresses and bank routing numbers and remain virtually anonymous. In all cases the Victims lost significant sums of money.
We recommend that you make personal contact with a representative of the real estate company or property owner prior to forwarding funds for the rental of a house. Anyone with additional information regarding this scam is asked to contact the Swatara Township Police Department and speak with Detective Ryan Gartland at 717-564-2550 or firstname.lastname@example.org.