Online Rental Scams have been commonplace for a long time especially on websites like Craigslist, so I was not surprised to receive a call from a prospective tenant inquiring about one of my listings because they were “finding conflicting information online.”
In this recent rental scam, the scammer has taken my listing pictures along with a portion of my property description and posted it on Craigslist for almost half the list price. In my opinion this was an obvious scam based on the price alone, but not all prospective tenants know what the going rental rate is for certain neighborhoods or cities.
Here are a few Red Flags for this particular Craigslist Scam:
Red Flag #1: The Price is Unrealistic
This scammer listed the property for $1,100 a month, when the actual rent is $2,100 a month.
Red Flag #2: No Contact Information
There is no contact information listed for the owner or real estate agent in the ad. The pictures being displayed are branded with a real estate web address, but contact information for the real estate brokerage is not listed. This prospective tenant was smart enough to go to the web address listed on the pictures and saw the property listed for another price, which made her pick up the phone and call me.
Red Flag #3: Can’t Meet the Landlord
Most scammers make up an excuse why they are unable to meet a prospective tenant in person, which is exactly what this scammer did, they said they’ve been relocated out of state because of a job transfer. In my experience an out of area landlord will not try renting a property on their own, instead they will hire a local real estate agent to do so for them.
Red Flag #4: Wire Funds
Every rental scam I have read about or been party to the scammer required the tenant to wire funds.
If you are looking to rent a home I highly recommend hiring a real estate professional to make sure you are not scammed. Find out today if we are able to assist you with your rental needs by filling out our Online Rental Questionnaire Below: