Washoe County Code Enforcement has been made aware of several fraudulent listings for Short-Term Rentals (STRs) on largely ungoverned platforms, including but not limited to Craigslist.
The fraudsters will locate photos of a property on real estate or rental listing websites, mimic the language of a legitimate rental listing and advertise the property for rental, usually below the market rate. Often, payment will be requested via Bitcoin, Venmo or some other electronic means to hinder the ability to track the transaction.
All STR property owners and listing holders who become aware of fraudulent listings for their properties should immediately contact Washoe County Code Enforcement at Code-Enforcement@washoecounty.gov, or at 775-328-6106. As there are advertising requirements for all STRs in unincorporated Washoe County, fines may be issued to property owners for listings that violate the required advertising standards, pursuant to Washoe County Code 110.319.15(a)(10).
As fraud is a crime under NRS 205.380 (and other sections as applicable), it is recommended that victims report this crime to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office – Financial Crimes Division, 775-328-3320.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also maintains a webpage dedicated to the reporting of Internet crimes. This is the Internet Crimes Complaint Center (IC3), and can be found at https://www.ic3.gov/.