RENTAL PROPERTY SCAM ON CRAIGSLIST
Renters beware! There's a big rental property scam on Craigslist right now, and the thieves are getting potential tenants to send them thousands of dollars for a bogus lease.
I've received an exorbitant amount of calls for rental units this year, but I've noticed an alarming trend over the past several weeks. Many of these calls are from concerned, potential renters who have seen a property listed on my website, via the MLS, and have seen the same property listed for lease on Craigslist, for much less money. So far I've received calls regarding this Craigslist rental scam for both homes and condos for rent in Orange County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County. And, although this seems to be far reaching, the callers all have a similar story to tell.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CRAIGSLIST RENTAL PROPERTY SCAM
The person posting the bogus ad for a rental unit on Craigslist claims to be the owner.
The property they're pretending to rent is actually listed on the MLS, and is available for lease, but at a higher monthly rate than what the scammer is advertising. I've checked out several lease listings, and they have been between $300 to $700 more on the MLS than what the scammer lists the property for on Craigslist.
The scammer uses the actual name of the property owner, and has clearly done their homework, in an effort to make this Craigslist rent scam look legitimate.
When questioned regarding the difference in price shown on the MLS and Craigslist, the so called "owner" claims that he or she has decided not to use an agent to procure a tenant because the real estate fees are too high.
The Craigslist rent scammer claims that he (or she) can afford to lease their property for less money, by circumventing a real estate agent.
Often the Craigslist rent scammer tells potential tenants that he has taken a job in another state or country, even claiming, at times, to be a pastor! This is the excuse given, to explain why they're unable to meet in person.
You will be asked to send the money to the Craigslist rent scammer via Paypal, by check, money order or cashier's check.
REPORT THIS RENT SCAM ON CRAIGSLIST IMMEDIATELY
DO NOT ever send money to someone that you haven't met, especially someone that refuses to meet you at the rental property, and if you see this type of rent scam on Craigslist, please report it immediately. There is a button that you can click on, in the ad, to easily notify Craigslist of any ad that looks suspicious or appears to be a scam, so that they can investigate further and rid their site of these criminals.