Scam targeting renters ongoing in Columbia | #phishing | #scams | #cybersecurity | #infosecurity | #hacker

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – Potential homebuyers are being scammed in the Midlands. Lockboxes of rental properties are being smashed in, people are pretending to be the owner, and money is being stolen from potential residents.

Richland County Sheriff’s Department said scams like this are not unusual they’ve seen several like this.

A man and his family fell victim to the scam. Rhian Roland fell in love with a home on Rolling Hills Road, and saw his family living there.

“I have four kids and we’ve been living in a place not made for six people. I took them there and they had their rooms picked out,” Roland said.

In order to secure the property, Roland immediately sent $900 through the cash app Venmo as a down payment. He found out later the person he sent the money to wasn’t the owner or realtor.

“Usually people take you on a walkthrough with you but this is digital age things are changing, but stick to the old school ways,” Roland said.

Roland is now trying to get his money back and console his four children who were so excited about their new home.

He says that was the most upsetting part for him because his children were so excited to live in the home.

Roland believes the scammer got his number from Craigslist where he had inquired about other homes previously and says he would not be surprised if other people could fall victim.

While visiting the home before making his deposit, he says several other people came to look at the house too.

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