Looking for a Rental Property, Don’t Be Scammed

Internet For RentIdentity thieves have increased their presence in the housing and rental  markets making it even more important for potential homebuyers and renters to do  due their diligence and know the warning signs of a scam.

The housing bubble caused many homes to be pushed into foreclosure and the  owners into the rental market, and scammers are using a myriad of ways to steal  personal information and money from unsuspecting victims. According to Raul  Vargas, fraud operations manager for Identity Theft 911, many of the scams are  occurring online.

Vargas explains that many of the scams involve an online post about an  available property to rent and when someone is interested, the scammer sends a  rental or lease agreement that requires a plethora of personal information like  birth date, Social Security number and current address. Some even ask for bank  account information to verify eligibility. The unsuspecting renter ends up  giving up the information hoping

Some scammers post bogus properties online and target renters moving from  another city or state.  “Everyone renting looks online to find a great  price,” and the scammers know that, says Steve Weisman, a college professor at  Bentley University and author of 50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a  Digital Age. Typically the fraudster will list a rental online with a market  price far lower than others in the area. The listing will have a real address  and photographs and the renter will be asked to either wire a deposit or send a  money order to hold the rental. “The renter doesn’t get to see the place and the  next thing they know they don’t have a place,” says Weisman. “It’s very easy to  copy a listing and put up a phony one.”

Scam go both ways: People with a property to rent can also become victims.  Weisman cites a popular scam that involves someone living outside the country  agreeing to move into a rental unit sight unseen. The “renter” will even send a  deposit of six months rent to ease any fear. A few weeks later, the scammer will  call to back out of the agreement and tell the landlord to keep two months of  the rent for the trouble and send the rest back.  The landlord cashes the  check, sends the money back and a week later the check bounces. “Even though you  waited a few days for the check to clear the bank doesn’t tell you that it’s  only provisional credit. The bank takes back the money when the check truly does  bounce,” says Weisman.

While scammers have become more sophisticated, renters and landlords can stay  one step ahead.  Being aware of some red flags will prevent them from  losing any money or sacrifice personal. According to Vargas, if the person asks  for personal information via the Internet and/or asks you to send money via a  money order or a wire transfer ,which isn’t easily traceable, should all serve  as red flags. He also recommends never sharing personal information without  meeting someone and checking their credentials.

Experts suggest out-of-town movers to work with a licensed agent to find a  place to live. To verify if an online posting is legitimate, Weisman recommends  searching the address and if it turns up on multiple sites with different names,  there’s a strong change the listing is a scam listing. The tax assessor’s office  can provide the homeowner’s name of the particular property and many of the  offices have websites making it easier for renters to check public information. “Be wary if the place is dramatically priced less than others and always check  out who the real owner is,” says Weisman.

To read the article as published on foxbusiness.com, please click here.

 

Open Houses Today, Sunday Oct 12, in Downtown Columbia, Forest Acres and Blythewood!

Open House this Sunday (Columbia SC Real Estate)
We have 3 open houses going on this Sunday, October 12, and they’re all over town! Hope you can make at least one of them!


Forest Acres
Charlie Mather will be hosting an open house in Forest Acres from 2-4 at 4166 Sandwood Drive. Contact Charlie for more information at 803-622-9480.

4166 Sandwood Drive, Columbia, SC 29206 (Columbia SC Real Estate)4166 Sandwood Drive
Columbia, SC 29206

(Map)

Listing Price: $194,000
Square Footage: 2,208
Bedrooms: 4
Full Bathrooms: 3


Downtown Columbia
Nyhma Tramel will be hosting an open house downtown from 2-4 at 312 Laurel Hill Lane. Contact Nyhma for more information at (254) 535-4412.

312 Laurel Hill Lane, Columbia, SC 29201 (Columbia SC Real Estate)312 Laurel Hill Lane
Columbia, SC 29201

(Map)

Listing Price: $174,900
Square Footage: 1,510
Bedrooms: 3
Full Bathrooms: 2
Half Bathroom: 1


Blythewood
Patricia Ortiz will be hosting an open house in Blythewood from 2-4 at 447 Longtown Road West. Contact Patricia for more information at 803-206-9881.

447 Longtown Road West, Blythewood, SC 29061 (Columbia SC Real Estate)447 Longtown Road West
Blythewood, SC 29016

(Map)

Listing Price: $389,000
Square Footage: 3,663
Bedrooms: 4
Full Bathrooms: 2
Half Bathrooms: 2

Open Houses this Sunday in Downtown Columbia, Forest Acres and Blythewood!

Open House this Sunday (Columbia SC Real Estate)
We have 3 open houses going on this Sunday, October 12, and they’re all over town! Hope you can make at least one of them!


Forest Acres
Charlie Mather will be hosting an open house in Forest Acres from 2-4 at 4166 Sandwood Drive. Contact Charlie for more information at 803-622-9480.

4166 Sandwood Drive, Columbia, SC 29206 (Columbia SC Real Estate)4166 Sandwood Drive
Columbia, SC 29206

(Map)

Listing Price: $194,000
Square Footage: 2,208
Bedrooms: 4
Full Bathrooms: 3


Downtown Columbia
Nyhma Tramel will be hosting an open house downtown from 2-4 at 312 Laurel Hill Lane. Contact Nyhma for more information at (254) 535-4412.

312 Laurel Hill Lane, Columbia, SC 29201 (Columbia SC Real Estate)312 Laurel Hill Lane
Columbia, SC 29201

(Map)

Listing Price: $174,900
Square Footage: 1,510
Bedrooms: 3
Full Bathrooms: 2
Half Bathroom: 1


Blythewood
Patricia Ortiz will be hosting an open house in Blythewood from 2-4 at 447 Longtown Road West. Contact Patricia for more information at 803-206-9881.

447 Longtown Road West, Blythewood, SC 29061 (Columbia SC Real Estate)447 Longtown Road West
Blythewood, SC 29016

(Map)

Listing Price: $389,000
Square Footage: 3,663
Bedrooms: 4
Full Bathrooms: 2
Half Bathrooms: 2

Featured Realtor of the Week: Scott Stephens

Our featured Realtor® of the week is Scott Stephens. Scott can help you with your real estate needs; whether you are looking to buy or sell!

Scott Stephens PictureScott Stephens

Realtor® | Residential Home Builder | CEPSCI

Phone: (803) 446-3621
FAX: (803) 779-1880
Email: ScottStephens@TheMatherCompany.com

Scott brings to The Mather Company a diverse background in both the construction and real estate industries. He has several years of real estate sales experience as well as more than a decade of experience working with large land holders as an analyst, engineer and consultant.

Scott grew up in the Low Country of South Carolina as an avid outdoors man and the son of a small custom home builder. This is where he developed his core belief that treating people with honesty, respect and integrity is the only way to live or conduct business.

Scott’s experience includes:

  • Hands on experience with the marketing, buying and selling of homes, land and homes with acreage
  • Hands on experience as an apprentice under several true Southern Craftsmen on construction projects ranging from small Low Country cottages to executive homes, as well as docks and boats.
  • Hands on experience working with large land holders with the implementation and maintenance of their land & land information systems. (Timber, Rail & Agriculture)
  • Hands on experience with Best Management Practices (BMP) in the timber and construction industries.
  • Hands on experience with water quality sampling, including wells, ponds, lakes and streams.South Carolina licensed Real Estate Agent
    South Carolina licensed Residential Home Builder
    South Carolina Notary Public
    South Carolina Certified Erosion Prevention & Sediment Control Inspector
    Bachelors Degree, University of South Carolina, Environmental Geography

Featured Realtor of the Week: Susie Rodriguez

Our featured Realtor this week is Susie Rodriguez. We are thankful to have Susie on our team and know you will have a wonderful experience working with her. Giver her a call or email her to find out how she can help you with buying or selling a home!

Columbia SC Real Estate Agent - Susie RodriguezSusie Rodriguez

Realtor®

Phone: (803) 479-2962
FAX: (803) 779-1880
Email: Susie@TheMatherCompany.com

My name is Susan Rodriguez and I was born in Cuba, but came to the United States at the age of 1. I am married and have two children, which in turn have given me two beautiful granddaughters. My Husband and I are originally from Florida and moved to Lexington, South Carolina in 2010. Lexington reminded us of how we grew up, where children enjoyed playing outdoors and family values were instilled in the young. The Town of Lexington is a fast growing municipality with much potential.

Although my career experience was in the legal field, my dream was to own a child care center. Being a caregiver is a very rewarding experience as we dedicate ourselves to teaching these young children. I decided to get my real estate license so that I can dedicate my time to help others fulfill their dreams of being homeowners.

I look forward to working hard for you, and helping you find your dream home.

“Don’t dream your life,
Live your dreams.”

I am bilingual and speak Spanish fluently!

Me llamo Susie Rodriguez, naci en Cuba pero llegue a los Estados Unidos con un a?o de edad. Soy casada y tengo dos hijos, los cuales me han dado mis dos nietas.

Mi esposo y yo nos mudamos de la Florida a las Carolinas en el 2010. Aunque mi oficio siempre fue relacionado con secretariado legal, mi sue?o fue tener un cuido de ni?os, lo cual compramos aqui en Lexington. El estar con ni?os pegue?os y ence?arles es de gran satisfacion para mi. Decidi obtener mi licensia en bienes raices para poder dedicarme a ayudar a aquellas personas que quieren realizar sus sue?os de tener su propio hogar.

Espero poder ayudarlos encontrar el hogar de sus sue?os.

Featured Agent of the Week: Patricia Ortiz

Our featured agent this week is Patricia Ortiz. If you are looking to buy or sell a house, get in touch with Patricia and she’ll be able to help you!

Columbia SC Real Estate Agent - Patricia OrtizPatricia Ortiz

Realtor

Phone: (803) 206-9881
FAX: (803) 779-1880
Email: POrtiz@TheMatherCompany.com

Featured Realtor of the Week: Marlene Steiner

Our featured Realtor® this week is Marlene Steiner. We are thrilled to have Marlene apart of The Mather Co family and know you will be pleased with her acting as your real estate agent. If you have any real estate needs…looking to buy or sell a house…give Marlene a call and let her help you!

Columbia SC Real Estate Agent - Marlene SteinerMarlene Steiner

Realtor®

Phone: (803) 463-1143
FAX: (803) 779-1880
Email: MarleneSteiner@TheMatherCompany.com

In 1977, Marlene moved to the big city of Columbia, from Georgetown, SC. She is a graduate of Columbia College. Marlene has spent 25 years in Human Resources in which she earned the designation of PHR (Professional in Human Resources). Since 2002, she has been an insurance agent licensed in home, auto, life, health, and commercial Insurance. She added a real estate licensed in 2007 and moved her license to The Mather Company in 2013. With over 35 years experience in assessing the needs of people and finding suitable solutions, she brings the necessary skills to works with buyers and sellers. Marlene enjoys watching her Saturday morning cartoons (HGTV and DIY), gardening, and cooking. As a past President and member of the Capital City Shag Club, Marlene and her husband enjoy spending time shagging with friends. Marlene has three grown children which have furnished her with five grandchildren.

Featured Realtor of the Week: Les Scott

Our featured Realtor this week is Les Scott. If you need help buying or selling a house in Columbia, SC, contact Les to find out how he can help you with our your real estate needs.

Columbia SC Real Estate Agent - Les ScottLes Scott

Realtor®

Phone: 803-536-1594
FAX: (803) 779-1880
Email: Les@TheMatherCompany.com

In 1982, I was born to two loving parents in Lexington, SC. I had the typical childhood that included building forts, playing video games and trying out different sports. Once I reached the 6th grade, I attended Ben Lippen School and graduated from there in 2000. After that I went to Lee University in Cleveland, TN and received by BS in Business Administration in 2004. Even though I went to school in Tennessee, I decided to move back and become a Realtor with my father. We were successful as a team, but I felt the need to pursue other interests. Fortunately I came back to my senses and decided to become a member of the sales team at The Mather Company in August of 2013. The rest will be history!

Featured Realtor of the Week: Cheryl McEntire

Our Featured Realtor this week is Cheryl McEntire. Looking to buy or sell a home? Contact Cheryl to find out how she can help you with your real estate needs!

Columbia SC Real Estate Agent - Cheryl McEntireCheryl McEntire

Realtor

Phone: (803) 509-1213
FAX: (803) 779-1880
Email: CherylMcEntire@TheMatherCompany.com

Cheryl is a native of Columbia who graduated from Dreher High and studied Theater at USC. In 2007 she completed an Associate of Applied Sciences degree in Real Estate. Courses included in the attainment of this degree are:

  • Real Estate Marketing
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Real Estate Investment
  • Property Management
  • Law of contracts
  • Real Estate Law
  • Home Inspection

With her training and experience, Cheryl has a broad, yet in depth, understanding of the steps to determine her client’s needs and to find the best property that suits those needs. And when it’s time to move on the next “dream home” she understands how to quickly and effectively market that property for her client. In all, her client’s best interest is always the top priority.

Featured Realtor of the Week: Harriett McCoy

Our featured Realtor this week is our agent Harriett McCoy. Harriett would be happy to help you with any of your real estate needs. So please contact Harriett if you are looking to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or the surrounding Midlands.

Columbia SC Real Estate Agent - Harriett McCoyHarriett McCoy

Realtor®

Phone: (803) 261-5258
FAX: (803) 779-1880
Email: HMcCoy@TheMatherCompany.com

Experience:
Realtor – Real Estate Professional – Licensed 1996
15 Years Communications/Governmental Relations
Former State Agency Executive Director

Affiliations:
National Association of Realtors
South Carolina Association of Realtors
Central Carolina Association of Realtors
Consolidated Multiple Listing Service

Education:
B. A. in Journalism (AD/PR), University of South Carolina, 1984
Real Estate & Continuing Education Classes

Community:
Women In Philanthropy, Charter Member 2002, PR Committee Co-Chair 2006
United Way of the Midlands, Director of Major Gifts 2001-2003
South Carolina Auctioneers’ Commission, Consumer Member 2001-2004
National Auctioneers’ License Law Officials Association, President 1993,
Secretary/Treasurer 1991-1992

Personal:
Married, 1 Child
Member, Eastminster Presbyterian Church

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