Warning! There are scammers using real, but vacant houses for sale on Craigslist in Tulsa, Oklahoma and they're out to take your hard earned rent money!
Apparently there is a real estate scam on Craigslist in the greater Tulsa, Oklahoma area whereby people are using real listings in order to cash in from unsuspecting people.
As I understand it, what they do is gather the information from the Craigslist listing along with a few of the pictures. They use only vacant listings to make the scam work. They then make a fake ad saying that the house is for rent. This ad might be placed on Craigslist, but here in our area typically shows up in the newspaper.
Once someone responds to the fake ad, the scammer will tell the person to go by the property and to look in the windows because he or she isn't available to show the house. They then tell the suspect how much the rent deposits and rent is per month, etc. If the person decides to rent the house, the scammer has them meet them somewhere where he or she collects the money and gives the person a fake key.
You know what happens from there. The person goes to the house. The key won't work. The scammer is never to be heard from again.
I first saw this on the news in our area a while ago, but they didn't mention that the scammers were getting their info from Craigslist listings. Then last week, our corporate office sent out a note telling us to be careful with Craigslist listings for this very reason. Wow. I'm telling you, with the creative ways that people come up with to rip off others, you'd think they could put that brain power to better use.
So, if you're looking for a rent house in the greater Tulsa, Oklahoma area and the home is vacant, be sure you use common sense.
1. If the landlord will not meet you at the property, red flags should go up all over the place.
2. If the property has a real estate sign in the front yard, call the company or listing agent, whose name is on the sign and ask if the house is for rent. Agents have no clue what is going on because you can be sure that the scammer isn't telling us what he or she is up to!
3. Never, never agree to rent something without getting a recommendation about the property and/or landlord from someone else, like previous tenants.
4. Finally, if you think you are being scammed, report the situation immediately!