GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about a scam that has been circulating in the community.

According to deputies, they have received several calls regarding real estate scams.

Deputies said the scam starts with a victim seeing a rental property on social media sites such as Facebook and they inquire about it.

The scammer then provides the victim with a code to view the property. If and when the purchaser notifies the scammer they are interested, the scammer requests a deposit and then disappears.

According to the sheriff’s office, most of the properties in question are owned by corporations, and often times the scammer will hijack the rental ads online and change the contact information to their own, making it appear real.

Deputies said simple signs to look for are the seller asking to wire money, the seller seeking a security deposit on the first month’s rent before you have met or signed the lease and if they say they are out of the country and can not meet.

The sheriff’s office suggests that you do your due diligence in your searches, and if your intuition tells you it might not be legit, that’s probably a sign that it’s a scam.