Beware of Craigslist Rental Scams
As if it isn’t challenging enough to sell a home or find a place to rent, real estate agents report that their active residential listings are being posted on Craigslist and other legitimate websites as rental properties. The scammers post listing details such as the address, listing photos and verbiage in the false ad. While each scam is slightly different, they often have these similarities:
- The scammer pretends to be the homeowner or listing broker
- The contact email address in the fraudulent ad may include the name(s) of the actual owner or listing broker
- The scammer claims to be out of the area and asks the renter to inspect the property on their own rather than meeting in person
- The scammer claims that the keys will be sent after a rental application, application fee, deposit, or first month’s rent is received
Craigslist is arguably the top source for finding rental properties. It publishes effective tips and hints about how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud in rental scams.
There are numerous websites (including mine) that make it easy to research a home address to see if it is actively for sale. If it is, call the listing agent and ask if the property is actually for rent.
Taking a few extra minutes to research a rental listing can help you avoid rental scams, saving you untold heartache and $$$$!