BOROUGH PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Short-term rentals are up more than 66% this year over last.
They are spurred by the warmer weather and the post-pandemic urge to get out and vacation.
As demand outpaces supply, it's a perfect storm for scammers.
You may be like a lot of us, looking for that last-minute rental.
You want a great location, steps from the sand and shore, with plenty of bedrooms, and a price that's right. But, pump the brakes before you pay.
But there it was in living color, Louise Chelluk's lake-front home hijacked and put up for rent by some stranger on Craigslist.
The unsuspecting renter was nearly scammed out of $2,000.
This isn't new, law enforcement as far away as Colorado and close as Connecticut are issuing warnings for short-term rentals scams.
This fraud starts with a fake listing, usually on social media with pictures taken off the web and used in a phony listing.
Scammers even send out fake leases that look legit.
Other tip-offs include scammers messaging you privately, requesting deposits of hundreds or even thousands be sent by wire or Venmo or Zelle.
Some big takeaways:
Before paying anything, check first with a licensed real estate broker, and see if the listing is legit.
Insist on an in-person tour of the listing inside and out. If possible, meet the owner at the property.
Remember, this scam's biggest bait is a too good to be true price.
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