Craigslist Rental Home Scam
Thank you to BethAnn Long from Coldwell Banker Tomlinson South for this great “Heads Up” Today!
BEWARE of Craigslist SCAM and spread the word!
This is old news to most of us. But it has been happening in greater frequency so I think we should help get the word out to the public.
Scam Artists are copying photo’s of homes for sale on the Internet. They are posting them at a good price for RENT on Craigs list and other sites. They even e-mail potential renter’s “proof of ownership”. They also make up false e-mail addresses in the name of the actual owner (which can usually be researched quite readily). The scam artists then asks the potential renter all kinds of questions, often obtaining a whole lot of personal and financial information.
Now, you wonder why on earth someone would agree to rent a home they have never walked through. Well, it happens all the time with folks relocating. The scammers pose as property management companies, have official looking documents and ask for things like: first and last months rent, deposists and other fee’s. They usually say the are out of the country for some noble reason such as missions. They claim they will mail the keys once they get the deposit money.
Having increased Internet exposure for our listings is great, but of course the crooks have to come up with something like this.
I got two calls last week when people drove by my listings they were hoping to rent from these criminals! They saw my for sale sign and called me. I was able to save them both right before they were ready to give out their information! The scammers charge what appears to be reasonable, but realistic rents for these homes, but under what is the likely rent. This makes it extra appealing and tempting on the consumer.
It just infuriates me that out listings are being abused this way! Luckily- I don’t know of nay instances where seller’s can be harmed.
BEWARE and be on the look out for YOUR LISTINGS FALSELY ADVERTISED AS RENTALS! Of course most of us don’t have time to check this out- but just be mindful that it is happening.
And to the rest of us eeking out an honest living, all the best to you!
BethAnn Long ~ Spokane Realtor~ Coldwell Banker Tomlinson South Inc.
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