South Orange County Blog from Bob Phillips

Rental Scams Abound on Craigslist!

Posted in Uncategorized by southorangecounty on September 17, 2012

Craigslist Scams (and How to Avoid Them…)

Part of Craigslist’s formula for success, the part that makes it easy to post whatever you like without any prior screening, is a double-edged sword that leaves many honest consumers with a bitter taste for the website.

With that in mind, the pros far outweigh the cons for Craigslist and if you want to navigate the site successfully here’s what you need to know

  • Scam artists are taking photos from expired listings, or homes that are currently for sale and uploading them as a rental of their own.
  • The price is usually quite a bit under the going rate (to draw you in).
  • The false purveyor will even tell you to go by and check the place out.
  • If you are pleased with what you see, they will begin part two of the scam, the wire-fund request.

Here are a few steadfast rules to help avoid being scammed…

  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • If the sign in the yard does not match the information in the listing, your warning bell should sound loudly.
  • Do not give money to anyone prior to meeting the individual in person (no wire transfers, mailing checks to ‘out of town’ owners, etc).
  • Do not give money to anyone without being given a walk-through of the property first.
  • If you find a scam, let the owner know so they can post a scam alert on Craigslist to prevent further abuse of their property (and other people’s wallets).

Craigslist is not responsible for false advertisements, and they do not vouch for or financially insure any transactions that occur as a result of a meeting through their website, so be careful. Follow these tips, err on the side of caution, and use a REALTOR®, like me.

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