Anyone trying to line up housing in the Bay Area knows that it’s a dog-eat-dog environment out there, with rents soaring into the stratosphere and habitable shelter few and far between.
As with any super-heated environment, scammers are about and looking for opportunities. And they are scoring.
Police in Moraga are cautioning anyone forced to play in this arena to be alert to potential scams after a Utah family attempting to line up an apartment for a student headed to Saint Mary’s College in the Fall wired off money to a waiting scammer undoubtedly all too happy to get it.
Based on photos and information provided online, the family apparently sent $2,000 to the “owner” of a home in town to secure its rental for the coming semester. Unfortunately, when the family and eager student arrived in Moraga to survey their new digs their arrival and mention of a “rental agreement” for the residence came as a surprise to the family living there.
Local police confirm the matter is under investigation and, of course, advise caution when dealing long-distance in this manner. We are informed the victim family is working with their bank in order to secure return of their missing deposit.
Editor: Because this was something of a less-than-friendly welcome for the arriving future scholar this organization would gladly offer a month of free news alerts should they wish to contact us (use our Tip Line, please). Perhaps other local businesses would follow suit and help ease the pain.