Missoula Police are warning citizens of an old scam that appears to be targeting local real estate properties. Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh says a woman contacted his office last Thursday, frustrated by a rental agreement.

"We took a report from a Missoula woman who contacted our department to report that she had lost about $1,200 because of a rental scam that she encountered on the internet. She had been contacted by a person who had property to rent, allegedly, in Missoula.    She agreed to rent the home and agreed to send first and last months rent."

The “rental” property was actually a home that was for sale, but scammers used that information to take advantage. According to Welsh, the money will likely be almost impossible to trace.

"Typically what we have found on these types of scams is that the persons who are responsible for it, know exactly what they are doing and know how to cover their tracks."

Welsh says a good rule of thumb is “don’t believe everything you read on the internet” and try to verify what you’ve been told.