Recently, CENTURY 21 Real Estate has been made aware of a rental scam involving the unauthorized use of our brand name. This scam works through an offer to rent an apartment or house. In response to interest in the advertised apartment, a letter or other communication is sent to individuals seeking information on the apartment to inform them that they are approved to rent an apartment. So far, this scam has involved purported rental properties in Australia or the United Kingdom, but could be used for any property location in the world. The letter typically states that two keys are being held for the proposed tenant and will be released upon payment of a sum of money ($1,500, for example). The communication requires payment to be sent to a CENTURY 21 office because the apartment's owner is an international resident or is travelling out of the country. The CENTURY 21 name (or other national brand) may be used to add an element of credibility to the scam and make it more likely that the would-be tenant will send the requested money. Once the money is sent, the consumer never receives the keys and determines that the mailing address is not a CENTURY 21 office.
If you are searching for an apartment and receive a letter like this, be advised that CENTURY 21 Real Estate is not associated with these listings and believes the rental offer to be fraudulent. Do not send money through the mail. If you intend to proceed with a rental and must send a deposit, confirm through the Internet or telephone directory the correct address of the location and speak with the agent on the published telephone number of the CENTURY 21 office. Do not assume that the transaction is legitimate based on the association of a national brand like CENTURY 21. If you wish to notify the authorities about this suspected scam or are interested in more information, we have provided information and identified authorities below that may be useful to you.