HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Pennsylvania residents are being warned about sophisticated rental scams through the Commonwealth that are meant to get your personal information and/or money.

Scammers have been known to take ads from legitimate rental companies or real estate listings and change the ads with different contact information. They may even hack the actual realtor’s account. Some scammers even place ads for properties that aren’t actually for rent.

Scammers can then get your personal information when you start an application and may even illegally take payments.

“We are approaching summertime and that means college students heading to school in the fall will need to make living arrangements, so beware of these fraudulent listings that appear to be the real thing,” Attorney General Michelle Henry said. “If a landlord refuses to meet in person and show the property, that is usually a strong indicator of a scam.”

Protect yourself by:

  • Being wary if you cannot physically see the property.
  • Confirming with whom you are dealing.
  • Not wiring payments for application, security deposit, or first month’s rent.
  • Not purchasing gift cards for payment.
  • Not providing your Social Security number without verifying with whom you are dealing.

To learn more about scams, you can visit the Attorney General’s website by clicking here.

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Anyone with questions or feel that they have been victimized by this scam may submit a complaint with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection by visiting https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/submit-a-complaint/scams-complaint/, by emailing scams@attorneygeneral.gov or by calling the office at 1-800-441-2555.