Realtor speaks out about home rental scam in Taylors

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TAYLORS, S.C. (WSPA)–Two dozen people have contacted a local real estate agent about renting a home in Taylors. The only problem? The home is for sale — not for rent.

It’s become such a problem at this home in particular that they’ve actually had to put up signs. That’s because the scammer has actually been sending would-be renters to the property.

Sandra Soba-Jochims has been a realtor in the Upstate for seven years. She uses a code and a lock box to access homes she is selling like the one in Taylors.

That’s why she was so surprised when a woman called her saying she had viewed the home to rent.

“When I talked to this woman on Monday she goes, but I’ve been in there three times,” said Soba-Jochims

But it’s not actually for rent.

“I put this house for sale and immediately I started getting calls for rentals.”

Since the home went on the market several people have called saying they saw it listed for rent on Facebook Marketplace.

She says the scam works like this:

“Wire the money to us and then we’ll FedEx you the keys once the transaction is done,” said Soba-Jochims.

The scammers even send the potential renters by to look at the home claiming to be out of town.

“This has been going on for years really,” said Nick Sabatine, CEO of the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors.

7News showed him the details of the scam.

“A thousand dollars a month? Security deposit of $700? That’s low,” said Sabatine.

We also showed him emails with the scammer.

“This is just this is too good to be true,” said Sabatine.

He says a major red flag is if a home is listed both for sale and rent. And although there’s no “good” scam to fall victim to, Sabatine says this one can take more than just money from someone.

“When you’re dealing with thousands of dollars and a place to leave and now you’re out on the street, it’s just unfathomable.”

Soba-Jochims hopes the person behind the scheme is caught soon.

“Rents are so high right now that this was such a good deal. but if it’s too good to be true it probably isn’t a deal.”

This particular incident is currently being investigated by the economic crimes unit of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

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