LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Before you go online to look for housing options, beware of online predators who offer false rentals to scam you out of your money.
"Anyone can get a craigslist ad and advertise something," said Karla Ahart of Crye-Leike Realty in North Little Rock
Ahart says the online convenience brings with it more avenues for thieves to scam.
"Pictures of the house are on the internet... So they're able to see the inside of the house just by looking on the internet, what they don't realize is that it's not really for rent; it's for sale," says Ahart.
Before sending any money, be sure to stop by the realty company to make sure the property is for rent. The last thing a scammer wants you to do is to go in here and talk to a realtor.
"They would even tell people, ignore the for sale sign. I'm from out of state, I'm from... A lot of times they'll say they're from Africa and they're a missionary," says Ahart.
Ahart warns that if for some reason you're not able to go inside the house to see it, which is a red flag. She also says a little common sense goes a long way.
"Well if it sounds too good, it probably is, that's the number one thing, before you send any money, make sure you are the actual owner," says Ahart.
If you do get scammed, you're probably out of luck; authorities have a tough time tracking down the scammers because many times they set up operations overseas.
Ahart tells Today's THV her office monitors online websites to see if their properties are falsely posted, but she says often times when one posting is taken down, another one comes up.
One way to make sure you're dealing with the actual property owner is checking the tax records to see who last paid property taxes for the house.