Blacksburg police warn of housing scams

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BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - Blacksburg police are warning those in the market for a home to be on alert.

They said scammers tend to be more active when Virginia Tech gets ready to wrap up its semester or begin a new one.

Often, scammers will steal the pictures of a home or apartment from a real online advertisement. They will then create a new ad with a lower rent or sale price. The ad will require a down payment.

Because of the university, many students will look for housing online from out-of-town without ever visiting in person.

"The best thing to do is verify, verify, verify," said Lt. Mike Albert with the Blacksburg Police Department. "Try to talk to the person in person. Make an appointment."

Albert also said these cases can be hard to investigate because they often originate from overseas.