The National Association of REALTORS®’ name is being used as part of a property rental scam in which rental property is offered to consumers, who are led to believe that NAR is functioning as an intermediary to receive rental deposits from prospective tenants.
“NAR is not involved in this business and has contacted law enforcement officials to request that the matter be investigated. We encourage any consumers who may be affected to file a complaint,” says NAR President Charles McMillan.
The scam claims that on receipt of a deposit, NAR will deliver the keys to the property to the tenant. Prospective tenants are instructed to send money via Western Union to NAR’s purported agent in the United Kingdom.
Some of the listings have been posted on Craigslist, which reportedly has had difficulty in tracing the original listings. NAR does not have an escrow service, or function as an intermediary to receive rental deposits.
Consumers who have encountered this scam may file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center.
“Our mission is not only to protect consumers in the real estate transaction, but also guard them against fraud,” McMillan says.