News Story


Camarillo/ Possible renter scam
1/20/2012 12:16:00 PM


Nature of Incident:

Possible renter scam

Report Number:



Camarillo, CA

Date & Time:


Unit Responsible:

Community Resource Unit


The Camarillo Police Department would like to alert the public of a possible renter scam. Recently, a realtor in Camarillo discovered that a property they were selling was being listed on various websites as being 'for rent'. When the realtor contacted the person that listed the affected property on these websites, they were directed to fill out documents to rent the property and once the documents were received and confirmed, to send a $650.00 security deposit. Once the deposit was received, a house key would be mailed to the renter.


Fortunately, this scam was discovered before anyone could fall victim to it. This type of scam is common and with the vast depths of the internet can be accomplished by anyone, anywhere in the world.


Typically, this type of real estate scam will target people looking to rent a house. The scammers use classified ads, as well as websites such as Craigslist to post these ads. Once contacted, the scammer will give the excuse that they are out of the country and cannot show the residence, but will provide pictures. The scammer will then direct the renter to wire money to them in exchange for keys. Scammers often use foreclosed homes or homes that are being sold to commit this type of fraud.


Here are some tips to avoid being scammed when looking to rent a residence:


1)    Never send money without being shown the residence by a realtor and or owner of the property.

2)    Be wary of rentals that are "too good to be true." Scammers sometimes use very low monthly payments to attract renters.

3)    Get a written rental agreement.

4)    Be suspicious if the owner doesn't want any information about you.

5)    Be suspicious if the owner cannot show you the residence and claims to be 'out of the country'.


Deputy Preparing Media Release:

Senior Deputy Sean Britt #3572

Media Release Date:


Follow-Up Contact:

Senior Deputy Britt #3572  805-388-5130

Approved by:

Captain Bruce Macedo


Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).