How to avoid summer rental scams

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It may be near freezing outside, but now is the time when summer renters start to search for their perfect place in the sun. 7 On Your Side wants to make sure you don't get burned

It may be near freezing outside, but now is the time when summer renters start to search for their perfect place in the sun.

But before scouring Craigslist or sending out hard-earned bucks, listen up: Over the years, 7 On Your Side has learned from the horror stories viewers told us after renters got ripped off.

This is what we found when we went to check out one rental in Wildwood. The toilets were outside. The property was condemned. It had no electricity.

The landlord was arrested and charged with scamming $100,000 from teenagers for prom and graduation week rentals.

RELATED: How to foil summer rental fraud before it happens

That's why it's important to look at property in person. Take a drive to check it out.

Also research the owner and the address. Many rental rip-offs begin with stealing photos of homes that are for sale and rent.

Google the address of the rental. This could give you information on who owns the property. If it's different, be wary.

Here are the last big takeaways: It's always a good idea to use a licensed real estate broker, not someone who says they're a broker on a Craigslist ad.

And never wire money. If you get scammed, there's zero recourse, and your money could be gone within minutes of sending it.

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