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Online home for rent scheme seems legitimate but could cost you thousands

If you are new to Nashville or just looking for a home to rent in Music City, beware of a rental scheme aimed at taking your hard-earned money. PHOTO: MGN

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--If you are new to Nashville or just looking for a home to rent in Music City, beware of a scheme aimed at taking your hard-earned money. An online scam targeting Nashville renters seems legitimate but is causing rental home seekers thousands of dollars.

According to a report taken by Murfreesboro Police, a 26-year-old Murfreesboro man is the latest victim. In this case, the interested renter found a home to rent online on Holsted Drive and contact the alleged owner at the number provided.

The alleged owner instructed the man he could go look at the house and messaged him the serial number to a lock box. The man says he went to the home, followed the instructions and was able to take a tour of the home. When he reached back out to the alleged owner, he was instructed to send two payments of $900 and one payment of $300 to a California residence.

ALSO SEE: Online Rental Scheme Builds Trust Through Property Visit

The man was then sent a rental contract via email and another payment for $900 was sent, this time to a location in Nigeria.

The interested renter moved into the home but a week later, the real owners of the home notified the man he was living there illegally and had to vacate the home by the end of the month.

The report is one of several the past few months targeting renters searching for homes online. Previous scams have also involved lock boxes or codes to devices that allow the interested party to view the home. Previous scams also send what look like legitimate rental agreements to prospects and capitalize on building trust through perceived legitimacy. This is at least the second case where an interested renter was asked to send money to Nigeria.

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