This is sad because you might fall in love with a rental property, only to find out that they have stolen thousands of dollars of yours. No one wants that to happen to them, and sometimes these scams are so elaborate that even the smartest people seem to get duped.
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Below are 4 Craigslist rental scams to avoid and watch out for:
1. Someone asks for all of your personal information.
Before you fill out a rental application, you should see the place and meet the landlord or the property manager. This is because there are many scammers out there who will try to get your information so that they can sell your identity to other thieves.
2. Sending a check before you see the place or sign the lease.
You should NEVER just send a payment to some random person who emails you back. They may say that they can only give you the key through the mail after they receive a check in the mail, and this is a red flag. They are most likely hoping that you will send them the money and then they can disappear because they do not actually own the rental home.
3. They want you to wire them money.
Wiring money is almost ALWAYS a sign that someone is trying to scam you. Do not do it because if they are scamming you then you cannot get your money back whatsoever.
4. Someone is pretending the be the landlord and actually shows you the place.
This is probably the scariest of them all. They will give you tons of reasons to believe they are the landlord. They will show you in, they will have a working key, contracts, and more. However, this person isn’t the landlord. They either stole the key or broke in through a window.
These fake landlords are hoping that you will not notice that they are not the landlord. They are hoping that you will give them rent and the deposit without noticing.
The way to avoid this scam is to do your research. Check their ID, make sure it is real, call the property management company or the building directly, and lastly, just go with your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, then do not do it.
Have you ever witnessed a Craigslist rental scam? What others Craigslist rental scams to avoid are there?