So last week I received a phone call from a very sincere young lady who was interested in the property I had for rent at XXX Any Street here in Farmington for $500.00! This particular home is a very nicely remodeled home in a very desirable school district with over 1800 square feet, four bedrooms as well as two and one half bathrooms. It broke my heart to have to communicate with this potential renter that the ad she was replying to was very likely a scam as the house was currently for resale and unavailable to rent at this time.

Folks I am writing this to protect you. People, or more aptly named Scammers are once again copying the advertisements that Realtors post for Listings they have been hired to help sell and post the pictures on Craigslist as homes for rent with a ridiculously low monthly rental fee to entice a lot of calls.

The scammers almost always tell people they can't show the house because they're out of town, but will ask for an application and a deposit.

The application has places for very private personal information and gives the scammer an open door to identity theft!

As far as the deposit goes - DO NOT SEND MONEY OUT OF TOWN FOR A RENTAL HOUSE especially if you have gone to or driven by the home and it has a Realtor sign advertising it for sale. A great way to protect yourself would be to call that Realtor to check the address for you and they can verify whether it's legitimate. You might be surprised, in some cases the Seller might have indicated to the Real Estate Broker that they would consider renting the home out and it could work out in your favor.

I went to a continuing education class in Albuquerque last week and was once again reminded that the entire reason Realtors are required to be vetted and go through the licensure process is to protect the public. I for one take this very seriously and see it demonstrated in principal in character at play throughout our local Realtor community.

The Take Away? Your Mama and mine were right! If it seems too good to be true, it most likely is.