Covington police warn residents of rental home scam

One couple moved into a home they had never legally rented without knowing it, police say.
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 11:04 PM EDT
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KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (WXIX) - Covington police are warning people looking to rent single-family homes of a potential scam, saying someone is having people sign leases for homes that they don’t actually own.

One person even moved into the home before the real rental company called them, according to Covington police.

The department has at least two reports of this happening. Officers say the renters lost thousands each.

“We believe that these folks are intentionally deceiving people to make a profit on them,” said Covington Police Lt. Justin Bradbury.

Bradbury says the suspect has been pretending to own homes in South Covington on Otter Drive and Crystal Lake Drive and renting them out. He says teh victims put money down for fake applications and paid first month’s rental fees.

“They’re doing everything remotely,and on its face, it looks completely legitimate, and then they have them sign a lease that’s not real, and then they think they’ve gotten this this great deal on an apartment, and in reality, they’ve just given away money to a stranger,” Bradbury said.

Police say the suspect has been able to figure out the codes to lockboxes at the properties, so when the victims show up, they just punch it in and get the key to the house.

“That is the one unusual aspect of this investigation, is that they have that information on hand, and typically that’s not something that’s readily available to the public,” Bradbury said.

Police recommend people research rental companies to make sure they are legitimate before making payments. You should also do everything in person, they say.

“If you’re gonna go view a home, if you’re gonna go view an apartment, that you actually go with escorted with either a realtor or representative from the business, so you actually lay eyes on that person, that you know they’re a real person that can show you the house and hence, authorization to be there and to rent the home out,” Bradbury said.

If you have any information in this case, you’re asked to call the Covington Police Department at (859) 292-2222.

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