Rental Services, Inc. has recently received numerous phone calls from people claiming to have been scammed by a company called Universal Rentals, Nationwide Rentals, Rental Services, Inc.(not us), Rental Services USA, Rental Services of America or whatever other variation of Rental Services they might be using this week. This company offers to find housing for people who are struggling to find a place to live. The scam company tells you they have lots of available rentals and will help you find a home. The scam company requires an upfront fee before they will show any of the available rentals. The scammer asks you to go to the store, buy a prepaid card and upload $350.00 onto it, this should raise a "Red Flag". Once you have uploaded the money to the card they ask you to read the card number to them over the phone. After they have your money they stop responding to calls.
Rental Services, Inc. is NOT affiliated in any way with this company! They are using our name and reputation fraudulently. Rental Services, Inc. belongs to the National Apartment Association and National Multi-Family Rental Information Council. We are registered with the Colorado Secretary of State and have an active website with contact information to reach us by phone, fax, email or regular mail. Rental Services USA/Rental Services of America, or any other company committing fraud will not and would not provide this type of information.
Rental Services, Inc. has been in business since 1984 and provides background checks for property owners and managers. We DO NOT provide any type of locator services or manage rental properties.
If you're in the process of researching Rental Services because paying upfront for an apartment seems strange, we hope this information has prevented you from losing any money. If you sent money to the scammers we recommend contacting your local police department, your state Attorney General and the Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov to file a complaint. Make sure to save any correspondence, the link to any ads, names and phone numbers you called. Collect as much information as possible. If you found the scammers ad on Cragslist, please report it as a scam.
Update: Scammers may be using the following names, emails and phone numbers. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, 202-436-9063, 651-300-0520, 612-284-4470, 303-952-0169, 303-800-4238, 612-806-4238.
Update: Fox 31 Problem Solvers Investigation.
Sample Scam Forms and Correspondence: