Today, Irvine Police Department Economic Crimes Investigators arrested Surong Li, 29, of Irvine, for grand theft, possession of a fake identification, and theft by false pretense.
Li represented herself as a property manager and facilitated home lease agreements with victims. In some cases, the rental properties were fake; in other cases, she never transferred the victim’s money to the property owner. Investigators believe the loss to victims is over $200,000.
The Irvine Police Department is sharing this information to raise awareness of this type of scam and to ask other victims of Li to contact email@example.com.
Here is how to protect yourself from a rental scam:
- Use a reputable real estate agent or broker
- Always request a tour of the property
- Ask to speak to the property owner directly
- It is suspicious if:
- You are pressured to lease right away
- If you are asked to pay in cash
- When there is no credit check involved
- You are asked to send payments to individuals other than the homeowner or property manager.