Many people rely on social media or internet sites to find rentals these days. I want to warn you about a scam on Craigslist that could potentially cause a great loss in money for people seeking rentals. Currently there are people who steal listing information off of sites like Zillow and Realtor.com and Trulia. They are taking information, pictures and sometimes even sellers’ names and creating a separate post on Craigslist for the home as a rental. Then they post a for-rent on the Craigslist site. They post fake rental fees per month and deposits too. The rental fees are usually much less than market rent. Because of this reason they get many calls about the property. Most often they tell some sort of story of why they are out of town and renting the property. They also require the renter to send money to secure the property.
During this time frame the property is actually for sale. There is a sign in the yard and contact information for the sale of the property. Many times people will be instructed to walk around the property and decide if they want to rent it.
As you can imagine this invites many a phone call to the listing agent with a distressed potential renter who has sent money and is wondering how to get it back. Renters beware! These scams are easiest in markets where there are few rentals and people are willing to send money to secure a home. If you see a for-sale sign in the yard, call the agent! Find out about the property and make sure it is going to be for rent. Hang on to your money and above all avoid Craigslist SCAMS!