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New scam brewing among landlord posers

March 15, 2010 5:38:55 PM PDT
Because of foreclosures, there are thousands of vacant houses statewide.

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.


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