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Hawaii County police warn of online rental scam

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:56 a.m. HST, Jan 16, 2013

Hawaii County police warned the public about a scam that lists houses for rent by fake owners while they are actually being offered for sale by the real owners.

A South Kohala woman answered a website ad listing a home for rent on Kawaihae Road by a person who claimed to be living in the United Kingdom. The person asked the victim to fill out an online rental application and then wire $2,258  to cover first month’s rent, security deposit and a key deposit.

The rental agreement and keys were to be delivered to the renter. When the house keys did not arrive, the victim became suspicious and drove to the street address of the rental, where she saw a  “for sale” sign in front of the house. After contacting the real estate agent, the victim learned the home was offered for sale and not for rent by the owners.

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