Fake lessor defrauded lessee in Orlando

Fake lessor defrauded lessee in Orlando

Many tenants are still deceived by fraudsters who rent houses that they do not even own. Isaac Aviles thought he’d found a bargain to rent a house in Orlando: a three-bedroom house with two bathrooms in Meadow Woods for $1,200 a month.

19-year-old Aviles did not meet with the landlord, the transaction was made over the phone. He made a deposit of $500 and his rent through apps such as Zelle and CashApp, except once when he was asked to pay with Apple gift cards. Later it turned out that the house is still for rent. Because it had an ad on it, which reported this.

Aviles has been the victim of rent fraud, fraud where someone is posing as an Internet landlord and tricks someone into paying them until the real owners find out.

"It’s pretty common here," said Jay Mobley, Senior Housing and Consumer Debt Advocate, Orange County Legal Aid Society. "If I’m talking about fraud, it’s always in my top three".

Fraudulent ads are often found on sites such as Facebook or Craigslist. Aviles established a connection to the phone number specified. Aviles contacted Zillow’s phone number. For Zillow, any user can claim a house that does not have another registered owner, with minimal information. Hayley Mills, a spokesperson for the website, stated in a written statement that the company now uses techniques to identify possible fraudulent individuals and remove fraudulent ads.

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