Hawaiʻi Police Department
South Hilo Patrol
Lieutenant Darren Horio
Big Island police are warning the public about a real estate scam that falsely lists houses for rent when they are really being offered for sale by someone else.
A Hilo woman, whose house is listed for sale, learned that someone had posted her property on Craigslist as a rental home. When she emailed the person who posted the bogus rental listing, that person posed as the owner, claimed to be out of the country, and asked the victim to wire $800 to the foreign country in exchange for a rental agreement and house key.
The bogus “owner” also advised the real owner to disregard the “FOR SALE” sign in front of the house and not to contact the real estate agent named on the sign.
Police advise prospective renters not to make arrangements to rent property without confirming that the person offering the property for rent is the owner or authorized rental agent.