BOISE, Idaho (CBS 2) — If you're scratching your head or even just a little curious how that dream apartment or home's rent is so affordable proceed with caution.
The Ada County Sheriff's Office says detectives are investigating several rental scams that have hit the Treasure Valley in recent months.
Typically, the biggest red flag is when the "owner" asks the perspective tenant to write them money to pay a security deposit, application fee or first month's rent.
Deputies highlighted a recent case where a man tried to rent a home in the Maple Grove and Lake Hazel neighborhood.
He responded to an ad on Craigslist for the home, and began texting with someone claiming to be the owner.
He filled out what turned out to be a bogus application online – one that asked for personal info — and was “approved” to rent.
The “owner” then texted him the code to a key lock box at the home so he could take a tour. The code worked, so he checked it out inside. That’s when the “owner” told him to go to a nearby store and wire her $2,200 to cover first month rent and security deposit.
A clerk at the store told the man it sounded like a scam. So he stopped the transfer and called us.
Detectives are working to figure out how the scammers are able to get the correct combinations to unlock the key boxes of homes for sale, and are urging area realtors to be extra careful giving that info out.