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Credit Bureau Center’s Online Rental Scam

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Renting an apartment online? First, let me tell you about the FTC’s case against Credit Bureau Center, LLC – a company that posted fake online rentals to lure people to their credit monitoring sites. 

How does this scam work? You’re looking at photos of rentals, on a site like Craigslist. You email the owner who says the apartment is still available but you need a credit check before seeing it. They direct you to their own websites, which say you’ll get a free credit report. 

But what you don’t know is: The ads are fake and the credit report isn’t free. The properties don’t exist or belong to other people who haven’t authorized them being advertised. When you go to get your “free” credit report, you’re enrolled in a credit monitoring service (based on hidden small print) and charged $29.94 per month, unless you cancel within seven days. 

The FTC got a court order against Credit Bureau Center LLC, halting their scam. Why? The company lied by saying properties were available when they were not. Also, Credit Bureau Center didn’t clearly tell people they were being enrolled in a credit monitoring service with a monthly fee.

If you’re renting and want to avoid a scam, here are a few tips:

Want to learn more about avoiding scams like this one? Check out Rental Listing Scams. Think you’ve been the victim of an online rental scam? Report it to the FTC.

Comments

Ok i tried to call the toll free # for free annual credit report and the number is wrong goes into a ring then like a fax machine sound what am I missing ?

We corrected the phone number. You can get a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228.

Same here. But because you reported first, I got the right # Thanks.

Thanks for letting me have some time to know the truth me

I recognize that name from years ago; fought them for a year or so before they finally got shut down and then they just popped back up under new, similar names; I could tell by the similarities of wording in their spams/scams. IIRC the FTC got into it eventually and I though clobbered them out of existence; guess not.

I have been a victim of check fraud since 12/22/17.

I have been victim of a phoney check scam. M y bank will not help me. I don't know what to do. I haven't even paid my january bills yet. Through nofault of my own I now owe the bank 25000. Should get an attorney?

kathleen48 this is just a blog where people can comment about whatever the blog is about. If you want help you'll need to file under the title your problem falls under on their website. Which this will probably fall under Financial-check scams or something similar to that. Gather all the information you have before reporting it to better help them help you. I hope this helps! :)

change banks it will bee cheaper in the long run

turrrrible

I and my daughter were a victim scam late last year. The deposit momey of 1795 was deposited in a designated bank account. We wereto meet at the said property to sign the agreement and get the keys. No one showed nor answered phone following. We alerted the bank to report the scam and asked the account be frozen. We were told it would take time. We reported it to the police as well as a realestate agent that had listed the property. The bank was no help. I believe it was a inside job, because the teller hesitated to act. I was told I had to speak to the manager who suposibly was not in. Manager was to call back, butnever did Isn't mobey FDIC protected, and my money should have been returned? It was all the money we had at the tine and loosing it caused a great set back. There is more to the story, but you get the just of it all. We faced being homeless because of it. Yet, I'm still hopeful that the culperts will be caught.

No legitimate landlord will take an application without showing you the property first.

This blog article is very good -- excellent translation of press release into an interesting read.

hi. what about those who promise free grants issued by the fed for rent or ..where is the fed?if i saw the fraudsters why can't the fed see them?

I learned the hard way many years ago, if a web site says "free", but asks for a credit card number, what ever the item is, it is NOT free, and to run the other way.

My person opinion about getting free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com, doing it on line is the quickest and easiest.

COULD YOU RESPOND TO MY EARLIER TWEET ON RE-SHIPPING SCAM? WANT TO MAKE SURE I AM NOT GETTING INVOLVED IN ONE.

If you think it is a re-shipping scam you can contact your local post office and they will send someone out to gather the items and any paperwork you have such as emails. Ask to speak to the manager of the post office then they will act on it. if you report it to them then there is a good chance you won't be charged. One way to tell is if they send it in one name but you ship it back to a different person name more than likely in another country. They have you print out shipping labels that are fake then you ship back to a different person, they get the goods while you can go to jail because they stole someone credit card, ship the product to you, then you print the shipping label then you send it back to another person in another country, not the name it came to your house in. You are the one in trouble because you went and re-shipped. Charges can range from mail fraud, mail fraud over international shipping stolen goods, credit card fraud, and more. You can also call your local police to check it out.

I requested Equifax and Experian for a credit report and it came back as not available, also the phone # 1-877-332-8228 is not in service. What's this all about?

Sorry - we mixed up the number.

Here's the correct number:  1-877-322-8228

Filled out many. All wanted source #. Scams. Hahaha

When you get a call and believe it is a scam. Get the person's name, phone number and company's name. They will give you that information thinking you will work with them. Then open a complaint with FTC.

I paid for an International flight to a travel agent who is now in jail for fraudulent actions. How do I get my money back since the individual is in jail?

An apartment Community The La Estonia here in El Paso, advertises their two bedroom inits with all utilities paid at $679. However in person the package which includes the paid utilities is actually a $779 The property is well kept as are the units themselves, had i not been on a time crunch i would have mostly likely declined the offer.

Could it be that they haven't updated their ad with the agency they run it with or could it be the ol' bait and switch? Advertise lower to get your attention then 'Bam' the amount should have been listed as $779. I would call the agency where they run their ad and have them verify that their rental amount is correct. If it is a false advertising then I would call the fair housing agency with your city, county or state and report it.

Receiving calls from 3#'s, 248.997.4199, 4223, and 4366; all the same recorded message saying "do you still have over $10,000 in debt"? No, we don't, so I know it's a scam. Have reported all 3#'s. And blocked their calls. Ridiculous these people are still in business. Need to find them, and take them to court with prison time as part of their sentencing if they don't stop.

Why is this not illegal, you see this type of deception all over the internet

I had recited a call form someone informing me i have been chosen to receive from the govement to receive from the gove a grant of seven thousand dollars provided me wth act no. And phone no. And I'd no How do I find out if this is a scam?.

When someone says you'll get a free government grant, that's usually a scam. The government doesn't call people up and give them money.

To be safe, remember:

  • Don’t give your bank account number to a stranger. He might say he'll put money in your account, but he could take your money instead.
  • Don’t pay for a “free” government grant. If someone wants your money, you aren't getting anything for free.
  • Scammers use fake names. They might make up a government agency or fake name. You can look up government agencies online. Call the agency and ask if that person really works there.
  • A scammer can fake a phone number. Computer technology lets a scammer make a fake phone number appear on your phone. You can't tell where the scammer really is.

Have a area code 815 that leaves voice messages that I need to call a number IMMEDIATELY or I will be picked up on warrants etc. VERY threatening , then smug says "if you don't call then goood luucckk" in sing/songizh tone? Now leaving threating texts? Reported but sure it's a burner #? Can't block from iphone unknown have blocked #s they call from but new ones all the time? Has anyone else? Or advice? Thank you..

It doesnt take money sent to them when you win the nigerian lotto,even when you did enter it.I find advertising to have alot of money,and it is not to good to be true,it is just a lie.The final straw in any free money is that they want you to accept the silver,gold ,or platinium offer at the end to recieve your free money.They give you coins,worth maybe the breath it takes to tell you of them.The one time payment of the Government when they gave 300per person years ago at tax time was legit,but on every legit deal there will be one hundred that use that known deal to suck money from you.I really dont understand why they target people trying to make money,and desperate enough to do work on line for money.The fact is ,they are just showing how to make money when you are down,if you dont mind being a slimy,small print scamer..Which most people do mind.Sorry,I dont get it when I look at these people that are knowning of what they do as they tell people something giving hope and then not only waste their time,they take all they can from them.Sometimes to remind them they needed money,were desperate,BUT IT CAN ALWAYS BE WORSE.

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