I have to say I am amazed that this actually goes on. If you are looking for a home or an apartment these days on line, one of the most popular sites to visit is “craigslist‘.
Our Property Management company uses the internet as our primary source of advertising and Craigslist is just one of the sites we use.
What I think is happening is that these “Scam Artists” will take our advertising data, including the pictures we’ve taken and create their own advertisement with their contact information..!
Take a look at the difference in our ad that appeared on Craigslist and the one that was sent to me by a prospective tenant. I think you’ll be surprised. I’ve also got a copy of the email response she got.
Here’s just a couple of tips to help you spot and avoid a scammer…
1. If you looked at that response note she got, wouldn’t that message alone make you wonder..? I mean they are currently in “West Afirca”… ? Nigeria maybe…? Lots of scams have been from there so get a clue.
2. The phone number is some weird foreign looking number & not a local phone call… but don’t think there aren’t local scammers too.
3. They send you a note with the address information and they want you to fill out a form before they show it to you. And… they say if you are approved they will tell you how to get the money to them.
4. When you drive by the property to take a look at the neighborhood and you see a “for rent” sign in the front yard that has a local phone number from a property management company…? This would raise some red flags wouldn’t it…?
5. The rent seems awfully cheap.. which brings to mind the old saying…”if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is”. If you have doubts about the rent value, you can always go here to RentoMeter and punch in the address and see if it’s too low or two or “just right”. In this case you’d see what an incredible deal it would be if this was a real offering, but it’s not… it’s “too good to be true” isn’t it…
I hope this helps.
Make it a great day
Ed Favinger, Broker, CRS, GRI, SFR 916-203-1260 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Craigslist scammer? (ask.metafilter.com)
- Online Housing/Rental Scam (manhattanmatters2011.wordpress.com)
- Rental Scams Still Dogging Craigslist Users: Beware (walletpop.com)
- Beware of this Rental Scam (callmichellemorris.com)