Landlord-Impersonation Scams Rise in California

This month, Los Angeles' D.A. warned citizens to be on the watch for scams when renting apartments due to an increase in rental fraud. Unfortunately the increase in foreclosures and empty properties means there are more places for the dishonest to swindle would-be renters.

Though a San Francisco assemblywoman is pushing a bill to elevate the crime of landlord impersonation from misdemeanor to felony grand theft, the best cure is always prevention. Taking extra precautions when you view a property can help you avoid getting taken for thousands of dollars.

Here's how the rental con works and how to protect yourself....