An Orange County woman was arrested for allegedly stealing over $200,000 through home rental scams.
The suspect was identified as Surong Li, 29, from Irvine, according to the Irvine Police Department.
Authorities said Li told victims she was a property manager and facilitated home lease agreements with clients.
In some instances, the rental properties she was representing were fraudulent or not actually available.
In other cases, Li collected funds from her victims for a lease, but never transferred the money to the property owners.
By using these methods, Li managed to steal over $200,000, police said. Li was arrested on multiple charges including grand theft, possession of a fake identification, and theft by false pretense.
Investigators believe there may be additional victims of Li who have yet to come forward. They’ve released photos of the suspect for public identification.
Authorities provided these tips on ways 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
Some suspicious things to be aware of include:
– Being pressured to lease right away
– Being asked to pay in cash
– When there is no credit check involved
– Requests to send payments to individuals other than the homeowner or property manager
The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information or who may be a victim is asked to call Irvine police at 949-724-7011 or email email@example.com.