Home rentals

Local authorities warn of scams involving pets and house rentals

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Members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office are warning the public of a recent increase in scams involving home rentals and pet adoptions.

While scams involve different types of purchases, both require a similar process of asking for money or deposits in advance. Scammers also frequently request additional payments at later dates to cover shipping or other charges, authorities said. Money is often falsely promised to be refunded once the purchase is complete.

In order to help the public avoid falling victim to these scams, authorities are offering several tips for recognizing when an online home rental or pet adoption may be a scam.

A common red flag is whether the person you’re communicating with will only be contacted by email or text, authorities said. Scams will also often involve sending money through an app such as Cash App, Venmo, or Zelle to a different recipient email address than the one in contact about the purchase.

A third common sign of a scam is a sense of urgency with the purchase, such as if the rental or pet needs to be acquired quickly and the money needs to be sent before someone else claims it. ‘case.

For those looking for a new pet or home rental, authorities also offer several tips to make sure their purchases aren’t scams.

For pet adoptions, MPs recommend requesting a video or FaceTime call with the animal to make sure it is real. Authorities also recommend performing reverse image searches on photos attached to lists of potential scams to check and see if the photo was taken on the internet.

For house rentals, authorities recommend contacting a separate real estate agent to confirm that the property is available for rent. If the person in contact about the rental claims to be with a rental agency, contact the agency to confirm their employment.

Finally, authorities wish to remind the public that if a purchase sounds too good to be true it probably is, and by taking steps to ensure that a good deal is real, members of the public can avoid fall into scams.

Jeremy Childs is a news and public safety reporter covering the Ventura County Star night shift. He can be reached by calling 805-437-0208 or sending an email [email protected]. You can also find him on Twitter @Jeremy_Childs.



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