EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A warning for anyone who may be looking to rent an apartment or a house in our region.

Con artists are targeting people looking to rent hoping to cash in on the short supply of rental units across the area.

It’s all about taking advantage of people who in some cases are desperate to find a place to rent.

“Once somebody sees something vacant, it gives them an idea to go there get a door open, and show the apartment,” stated Ken Temborski-owner of Aggressive Real Estate.

That somebody is a scam artist Ken Temborski has been in the real estate and rental business for thirty years.

That he says, in part, has led to this scam.

“They show the apartment. What is happening they say ok you really like it–yep. They lower the price than what’s normal so it’s very attractive,” explained Temborksi.

Then they go for your wallet.

“They say first month’s, last months, security and I’ll get the lease to you right away. Give me your name and address. When people fund the money right out to them or give them a good deposit and they were fake they weren’t the owner. They disappear,” said Temborksi.

Temborski offers this advice to anyone looking for a rental unit.

“Look in the area where you are at if you can’t find an aprtment for rent by owner go to your local realtor and ask what they have available,” stated Temborski.

Many communities, such as Pittston, launched a rental property registry Mayor Mike Lombardo says it can short circuit future problems such as scams like this.

That allows us to keep track not 100% but pretty accurately up to the 90 percentile of the properties that are available out in our municipality not only in terms of the condition of them but the availability and some of those issues that we see,” explained Mayor Mike Lombardo of Pittston.

Other real estate agents tell me they have been contacted in recent weeks by people who almost fell for the scam but realize something just wasn’t right

For more information about the do’s and don’ts to avoid rental scams head to the U.S. Government Servies and Information website on the rental scam.