Rental house fraud incidents are on the rise


Rental house fraud has become an increasing concern in Tennessee as unsuspecting tenants fall victim to deceitful practices by unscrupulous individuals posing as landlords.

Sparta Police Department is issuing a warning to the community to remain vigilant and take precautions when searching for rental properties.

Instances of rental house fraud encompass various schemes, including phantom rentals, overseas scams, identity theft, sublet scams, and false advertising. Scammers often use online platforms to advertise properties they do not own or have the authority to rent, enticing victims with attractive deals and requesting upfront payments or personal information before disappearing without a trace.

“These fraudulent activities not only result in financial losses for victims but also undermine trust in the rental market and cause significant distress,” stated Chief Nick Dunn. “It is imperative for individuals to exercise caution and verify the legitimacy of rental listings and landlords before entering into any agreements.”

To combat rental house fraud, Sparta law enforcement urges residents to:

  • Verify listings: Confirm the authenticity of rental listings by researching the property and cross-referencing information provided with reputable sources.
  • Be wary of upfront payments: Avoid sending money or personal information to landlords or agents before thoroughly vetting the rental property and ensuring its legitimacy.
  • Use trusted platforms: Utilize reputable rental platforms or work with licensed real estate agents when searching for rental properties to minimize the risk of fraud.
  • Trust your instincts: Remain cautious of deals that seem too good to be true or raise suspicions and report any suspicious activity to local authorities.

Sparta Police Department encourages individuals who believe they have been targeted by rental house fraud to report the incident promptly. By raising awareness and taking proactive measures, the community can collectively combat rental scams and safeguard against financial losses and identity theft.

For more information or to report rental house fraud, please contact Sparta Police Department at (931) 836-3734 or dispatch (931) 738-7111.     


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