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Independence Police warn of rental scam

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 5:10 AM CDT
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INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (KCRG) - The Independence Police Department warned residents of a rental property scam.

In a social media post, the department said people were taking pictures of property they didn’t own and posting it on social media to get a security deposit out of it.

Curt Martin works as a realtor for Re/Max Independence Realty. He said the pandemic was making scams like these more common.

“There aren’t a lot of houses for sale,” he said. “Our listings have been down, and the rental properties people lived in just stayed put.”

Martin said these types of scams didn’t happen often in smaller towns like Independence because there weren’t many places to rent. He said this scam happened once in the last few years.

“It was a mess,” he said. “Luckily, it didn’t happen all the way through. We had some places listed. A renter called me and said they were looking to rent the place. I told them it wasn’t available.”

People looking for a place to rent should reach a landlord or a property manager before trying to secure a rental property and especially before any money was exchanged.

“Most people in a small town know everybody and the landlords,” said Martin.

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