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Newport Beach Police Department
Thursday December 6th, 2018 :: 06:45 p.m. PST


Scam Alert: Rental Property Scam

There has been a recent scam going around regarding rental property advertisements. Here’s how it works:

A suspect posts a Craigslist For Rent ad with photos of a Newport Beach home that they pulled from an Airbnb ad. Once the victim starts corresponding with the suspect, the victim is sent a fake rental agreement and is instructed to wire money or deposit money into an account. Once the money has gone through, the suspect stops corresponding with the victim.


Here are some tips to protect yourself from these types of scams:

-  Never wire money or deposit money into an account of someone you have never met. Remember: wiring money is like giving someone cash- you will not get it back.

-  Ask to arrange a tour of the property with the landlord or property manager before signing an agreement or transferring money. Legitimate landlords will be open to having prospective tenants check out the property.

- Beware of a landlord or property manager who only communicates via email and is ready to sign an agreement without any background info. Legitimate landlords want reliable tenants and will want to make sure you check out before they rent to you. 

-  Do an internet search on the owner, real estate management company, and listing. If you find the same ad listed under a different name, it may be a scam.

If you believe you’ve been the victim of a scam, please file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at

Newport Beach Police Department
870 Santa Barbara Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Emergency: 9-1-1

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