Nashville Attracts Rental Scammers

Posted at 6:07 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 21:35:46-04

With hundreds of people moving to Nashville every week rental properties were hot ticket items - so hot they've become a way for crooks to scam unknowing victims out of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars.

"These people are just preying on people, preying on tourists and students," rental property owner, Chris Tramel said. 

Tramel and his wife's rental property near downtown Nashville is being used to scam potential renters. It happened this week when a young woman showed up to move in. "We didn't have it rented at the time, there was no booking for that time," said Tramel. 

Unfortunately, that woman was out nearly a thousand dollars. The Tramels even emailed the alleged scammer, demanding they stop using their address.

NewsChannel 5 reached out to that person via email Wednesday morning. Less than five minutes later and despite the property owner's demands, a response saying the unit was available to rent for just $950 a month. 

We were later sent another email with more details, complete with pictures which we showed to Tramel.

"Total deposit: $2200, now is this your {unit}? That's not even our condo," Tramel responded. 

Metro police have seen nearly 30 reports of rental scams this year. Unfortunately, since most of the victims and scammers are from out of town police have no jurisdiction. However, they and Tramel had some sound advice.

"If it sounds too good to be true, it's probably too good to be true," said Tramel.

The Tramel's riverfront condo rents for closer to $2,000 a month. They do have their property posted on VBRO, a site which protects the renter and the property owner.

The emails between NewsChannel 5 and the alleged scammer have been sent to Metro Police.