Andalusia Police Department warns of rental scams

Published 9:15 am Friday, June 7, 2024

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The Andalusia Police Department is warning local residents to use extreme caution when using social media to find rental property after they have investigated several cases of fraud.

Lt. Jody Scott said there have been four or five cases in the past three months in which locals searching for a rental were contacted by someone alleging to live in Pensacola or Mobile and to own property here.

The scammers have located addresses here, broken in and changed locks, scheduled meetings with the person looking to rent, and given them a key and a lease agreement, Scott said. The scammers request payments through Cash App.

“The next thing the renters know, the real property owner figures out someone is moving into a house they own,” he said. “By then, the Facebook and Cash App accounts are shut down, and we have no way to trace them.”

Lt. Scott said one of the transactions occurred through Facebook Marketplace.

“I would be leary of using social media to do rental transactions, and we advise against paying rent by Cash App,” he said.