Campus Safety has been made aware of an online scam whereby individuals with listings on the U of S Housing Registry have received interest in their properties from international sources with intent to defraud the property owner.
Fraudsters will contact the renter stating that they are interested, and will be sending a money order in the mail for the property. The money order will be of funds far exceeding the asking rent. Often times the sender will claim some sort of difficulties with money, and to have a portion of the money order returned via Western Union (see example on our IT Alerts page).
The money order received by the renter is either entirely fraudulent, or issued from a bank who is unable to process requests instantly. Once money is deposited, it may take several weeks for the money order to be processed by the originating bank, whereby the funds are most likely missing and the renter is out the money.
The scam artist insists on Western Union because the money is transferred instantly.
If you receive interest in a rental property that seems suspicious, please contact Campus Safety immediately. Do not issue any money to the sender under any circumstances. Please view this example on our IT Alerts page for more details: