Fraud alert: Scam artists renting foreclosed homes

According to a recent report from Freddie Mac, scam artists across the country have sunk to a new low of renting out foreclosed homes.

The scam, according to the mortgage giant, goes like this: the fraudsters find homes that have been sold at foreclosure and post the listing online. They try to rent it before it's sold to a new homeowner, and inform the potential tenants that in order to gain access to the unit, they'll need to supply credit information along with their rental application and two months rent. The victim then goes to their new unit, only to discover the awful truth: they've been swindled.

According to The Daily Times, a man in Chester, Pennsylvania, was arrested for allegedly doing just that. The Times notes that the man was taking the scam a step further and breaking into the houses, changing the locks, and allowing the tenants to live there until the real realty agents arrived and had to kick them out.

Fortunately, according to Freddie Mac, there are a few ways that renters can try to avoid this scam. First of all, they should check to make sure the property is not on sale by searching the listing online. Furthermore, they can also check with homesteps.com to ensure that Freddie Mac doesn't own the property.