I've now seen reports in both Las Vegas and Tampa claiming that con artists are breaking into vacant of foreclosed homes and changing the locks- then advertising these properties for rent. When a tenant moves in, the con artist simply pockets the deposits and rental payments until the scam is discovered by the true property owners. The tenants are then thrown out of the property, and are unable to get back large security deposits.
If you are currently searching for a rental home, you can protect yourself by working with a licensed real estate agent or respected property management company. Always confirm that the individual you work with is truly licensed. Most states maintain online databases where consumers can confirm the license status of individuals or businesses. For real estate licensing, the website http://arello.org can verify licenses in multiple states.