N4T Investigators: Historic Tucson home becomes latest rental sc - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Historic Tucson home becomes latest rental scam

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TUCSON - Rental scams are growing in Southern Arizona.

There's a famous house with a bit of an infamous twist along University Boulevard. Sen. Harry Drachman's former home popped up for rent on a classified website recently.

Tara, whose last name the News Four Tucson Investigators have agreed to protect, responded to the ad.  A man claimed he owned the million-dollar house and would rent it for $800 per month, furnished with antiques.  

He dodged Tara's requests for a walk-through, and eventuality asked for a deposit sight-unseen.

Turns out, the man didn't own the house, which was actually for sale.   The agent, BJ Gibbons, is also a real estate attorney. 

"This has been growing for two and a half, three years," Gibbons said.

The targets are mostly students who connect online.   The crooks are hard to catch, but there is a fraud network that helps. 

Gibbons said a prospective rental client should always make sure you verify whoever is trying to rent the property, to be positive they're the owner or authorized manager. Get that walk-through, too.

Tara never paid the money.   She hopes other people do their due diligence as well. 

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