Have you ever come across a craigslist rental that seemed too good to be true? You may have been viewing a post by a craigslist real estate scammer.
Craigslist scams are unlike any other. Normally, as the public becomes aware of a scam, its success rate beings to fall, however, it seems that this does not apply to craigslist real estate scams. It can be difficult to track which of these are scams since most of these ads are real properties and can look legitimate with real contact information as well as real company logos.
How It Works
Craigslist scammers use real home listings pictures and content that are often posted on the MLS, then repost as a rental scam. It cost scammers little to nothing to post these scams and all they need to do is change contact information and drop the price to entice unknowing customers. These scammers will then ask the customers to send money to cover things like deposits, first-last months rent, etc. Often these clients will show up to the home, ready to move in only to find they’ve been duped.
What Can We Do?
Realtors can help by actively monitoring listings using search engines alerts that appear when certain information is posted online and by frequently checking craigslist to ensure their listing has not been stolen. Customers searching for a new home should use rental company websites such as the one we have at Ryntal Property Management. Although, the best thing anyone can do to help is to report fraud. While cyber-crime is difficult to prosecute for, with the help of realtors and customers nothing is impossible.