Rental and Sweepstakes Scams Hit Loudoun County
Loudoun County Sheriff's Office warns residents of the schemes.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office warned residents Monday about an online rental scam and a sweepstakes scam that has found several victims in Loudoun County.
According to information released Monday, the scam advertises a low priced property for rent. Those who show interest have been asked to send their personal information to the 'owner' in order to be approved. Victims have then been asked to ‘wire’ the money for deposit prior to finding out that the house is actually not for rent.
A similar situation occured back in June, when a number of listings posted on Craigslist turned out to be a scam. Robin Frank, office manager for Brown-Carrera Realty said that a number of their real estate listings had been copied and used by someone else. Since then, the Leesburg Police have been keeping an eye on the situation.
The office shared the following tips for anyone who might be a target:
- "Potential renters seeking space online should be wary of owners who are unable to show the property before you send a deposit."
- "Be wary of owners who request that you send your deposit via money transfer and owners with overseas phone numbers."
The “Sweepstakes” scam can occur via U.S. Mail, telephone or e-mail, according to the LCSO. Victims are told they won a recent lottery drawings, and that they'll receive the winnings after wiring money to pay the taxes on them.
These are just two scams that have hit the local area within the past month. About a week ago, the LCSO released information about a scam in which a caller tries to secure a victim's personal information in order to gain access to their computer. The caller claims they have information about various software programs on their device.
Residents who have been a victim of either of these scams are asked to contact the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office at 703-777-1021.