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PSLSO: Beware of rental scams in this exploding housing market

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

A treasure coast woman found a deal that was too good to be true, a Port St. Lucie home listed on Facebook for $1,400 a month so she knew she had to act fast.

After taking a virtual tour she plunked down nearly three grand to rent the home only to find out just before moving day that the landlord was a real estate company not the person she paid on line.

In the end,  a criminal took the unsuspecting renter for $2,800.
According to Port St. Lucie police, 16 similar incidents have been reported in the past six months, duping desperate renters out of thousands of dollars.

“The best thing to always do is work with a local real estate agent,” Port St. Lucie police Assistant Chief Richard Del Toro told WPTV.  “(They) know the market. They know the owners personal. They’re representing the owners.”

Officials warn, “If it seems to be too good to be true and the price is a lot lower than the rental market average, that is red flag.”