Law enforcement officials say an increasingly common scam is for con artists to rekey a vacant home or apartment, then rent the unit to gullible tenants willing to pay cash.
This is a good deal for the bad guys because the crime is only a misdemeanor. Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, would change that to a felony.
"We're hoping this is going to be a deterrent with the whole increase in education and awareness and we'll see how many victims do come forward; we do hope they do come forward," says Ma.
Under her bill, those convicted could do time in state prison.