The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is warning consumers to be on alert against property rental scams. As the Arizona housing market continues to price many out of purchasing a home, a growing number of residents are seeking rental properties.
According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO), scammers are seizing the opportunity to prey on unsuspecting consumers. Two of the most prevalent scams involve individuals advertising rental properties that they do not own or manage, and individuals advertising rental properties as a way to obtain personal and banking information to steal identities.
Landlords looking to lease their property are also advised to be aware of individuals offering to pay deposits or rent with certified funds in excess of the actual amount owed, and requesting the excess funds be wired back to the renter. Return the check or wait until the certified funds have cleared your account before returning any excess funds.
The AGO offers the following tips to consumers seeking to rent homes and apartments:
Be skeptical of rental prices “well below” market price for similar properties.
Look up the property address on a search engine to verify that the property is not “for sale” elsewhere, or physically drive by the property to verify that it actually exists.
Be wary of poorly written rental descriptions that include misspellings or bad grammar.
Avoid companies or individuals listing rental properties who are not reachable by phone during normal business hours; who tell you that they are out of state or out of the country; or who request communication via text only.
Be skeptical of companies or individuals charging “up front” fees in addition to the normal application and credit check fees.
Always be wary of companies or individuals requesting personal information such as your social security number and bank account information up front.
Don’t pay the security deposit until you have a signed lease.
Avoid companies or individuals requesting payments be sent overseas or by wired funds, gift cards or through peer-to-peer payment apps (such as Cash App).
Deal with reputable companies or agents who have appropriate licenses.
There are several online resources available for consumers to check appropriate licenses and review information regarding a company’s reputation. The Arizona Department of Real Estate contains information regarding licensed Real Estate Professionals. The Better Business Bureau is also a good source of information regarding a business’ reputation.
Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar hopes a bill he has introduced will add some transparency to the murky bureaucratic process used to shape environmental policy.
Gosar says his NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) Data Transparency and Accountability Act, “would empower Americans to see and understand the full bureaucratic costs of NEPA by requiring each federal agency to report to Congress on its NEPA activity every year.”
“Over the last 50 years, NEPA has become weaponized by those who oppose projects and want to stop economic development. Endless delays and lawsuits are used to prevent infrastructure projects and job creation throughout the country. The increasingly complex bureaucratic process has also dramatically increased the cost and timeline to complete projects. Today, on average, the NEPA process takes 5.2 years for completion,” said Gosar. “By requiring clear transparency, this bill will allow Americans to analyze the costs of our expensive and burdensome NEPA system.”
NEPA requires environmental review prior to authorizing actions such as the permitting of infrastructure projects. During the Trump administration, it was revised to exempt a large class of projects from environmental review and eliminates the requirement to analyze a project’s indirect and cumulative effects, among other things.
The Biden administration is reversing the Trump revision, an act the Montana governor called a “job-killing decision.”
Governor Doug Ducey on Friday ordered flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset tomorrow, July 31, 2021, to honor Tucson Emergency Medical Technician Jacob Dindinger, who last night died from his injuries from a shooting earlier this month as he was responding to a house fire.
“Jacob Dindinger was a brave, selfless member of our community whose life was taken far too soon,” said Governor Ducey. “Arizona’s deepest prayers are with Jacob’s family, loved ones, his fellow first responders and everyone who has been impacted by the senseless, violent act that took place while he was working to help and protect others. In honor of Jacob’s life and service to our state, I’ve ordered flags be lowered to half-staff.”
Jacob Dindinger served as an Emergency Medical Technician for American Medical Response in Tucson, Arizona. He was 20 years old and graduated from Canyon Del Oro High School in 2019 before starting as an EMT in March 2021. He sustained critical injuries after being shot by a suspect while responding to a house fire on July 18 and died from his injuries last night, July 29.
On Wednesday Governor Doug Ducey announced Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ will leave her position on August 27 for another leadership role as chief medical officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.
Christ has led the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) as director since May 2015 after serving as chief medical officer, licensing director and deputy director of public health for the department since 2008. She will be the longest-serving director in the history of the department as of August 13, before her departure from the position.
Christ, an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist, earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Microbiology from Arizona State University. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson.
“When Cara Christ became a doctor, she did it to help others and save lives. That’s exactly what she’s done,” said Ducey. “She dedicated countless hours to protecting millions of Arizonans from the COVID-19 pandemic — and she’s done it with grace, stability and confidence. She implemented effective statewide testing and internationally-recognized mass vaccination sites, established the national model Arizona SurgeLine, worked hard to increase vaccinations for communities in need, and so much more.”
“Before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, my number one priority has been protecting the health of Arizonans all across our state,” said Dr. Christ. “When the pandemic hit, the entire state came together to contain the spread and protect one another — and I’m grateful to everyone who worked with our team at the Arizona Department of Health Services to protect fellow Arizonans. It has been an honor to lead ADHS and work to keep Arizonans of all ages, backgrounds and unique needs healthy and safe. I’m so proud to have been a part of this administration, and I thank Governor Ducey for entrusting me with responsibility for public health in Arizona and for working with me closely in the state’s response to COVID-19.”