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Police warn of scam targeting property owners on South Side

Sun-Times file photo

Police are warning property owners on the South Side to be aware of a fraudulent property takeover scam happening in the area.

The scammers target both single-family and condominium units that are in pre-foreclosure, foreclosure, have been recently rehabbed or recently placed on the market, or are abandoned or bank owned, a community alert from Chicago police said.

The scammers will then place convincing ads online to rent the units, often posing as the owner or agent of the property, police said. Once they had interested renters, they would show the properties. The scammers often have keys for the homes.

The scammers will then have the renters sign a formal lease and collect a security deposits and rent, police said.

Police warn that it is a lengthy process to remove these renters once the real owner is aware, and they suspect some renters may be in on the fraud.

Anyone with information about this property takeover scam should contact Bureau of Detectives Financial Crimes Unit at (312) 746-9661.