(UNDATED) – Attorney General Curtis Hill today warned Hoosiers and visitors in Indiana to be on the lookout for scams targeting house rentals this Memorial Day Weekend and during the week of the Indianapolis 500 race.
The Consumer Protection Division is encouraging vigilance by renters, homeowners and those purchasing tickets to the Indy 500 race.
Attorney General Hill urged those attending the Indy 500 to be on alert for fraudulent tickets and other scams related to race weekend. High-profile sporting events are prime targets for scammers.
Here are some tips on avoiding ticket scams:
- Buy tickets from a trusted vendor or the official website.
- Only use a credit card to purchase tickets; never use cash or wire money for tickets you’ve found online.
- Be wary of advertisements with extremely discounted prices. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- In addition to ticket scams, those traveling in Indiana should be aware of fake rental listings and always consult Google maps and images to confirm that the rental property you are booking really looks like the photos posted online.
Anyone looking to rent their properties on Memorial Day Weekend should also be on the lookout for scams. The counterfeit check scam is among the most commonly reported to the CPD. Scammers might contact the homeowner acting as a prospective renter and offer to pay above the listing price, asking the homeowner to transfer any excess amount to a third party. These scammers will provide a counterfeit check, defrauding the homeowner if they agree to forward the excess funds.
The Consumer Protection Division encourages homeowners and prospective renters to follow these steps to avoid rental scams:
- Pay by credit card for all online transactions. If the listing is fake, you can file a dispute with your credit card provider and receive a refund within 90 days.
- Do not open links taking you outside websites you know to be legitimate. Scammers will often email links with payment instructions that take you outside of the payment services of legitimate websites with which you are familiar. This is a phishing attempt to steal credit card information.
- Never pay with gift cards or wire transfers.
- Search the images of posted rentals on http://images.google.com by clicking the camera icon in the search bar and then pasting the URL of the posted rental image into the search box. Results showing a listing for the same property with a different address may indicate a scam.
Hoosiers are encouraged to contact the Office of the Attorney General about any suspected scams or scam attempts. You can file a complaint by visiting indianaconsumer.com or calling 1-800-382-5516.