If you're like me, you find that craigslist is a wonderful tool for marketing listings. Craigslist was founded by Craig Newmark in a effort to let friends know about events in the Bay Area, friends began to visit and before long were making suggestions. Hey! You could sell stuff on here, or find a ride, buy a ticket to a concert or get a date!
However, as with all good things, some will choose to use them for ill. That's what we have seen in Humboldt County. Realtors that post homes for sale have seen a scam become more and more prevalent. Many have experienced someone taking listings for sale and posting them in listings for rent. The scam begins when a renter contacts the creator of the bogus rental ad. The story varies, but a recent story went like this: The seller had taken a job in Africa and wanted to rent his house in a local town. He said that he could get the renter in if the renter sent money. This story sent up red flags and the renter was able to find out who the Realtor was and let her know.
The object, it seems, is to either get money or a credit card number. Last year an agent told a story of a renter that actually paid a deposit and MOVED INTO a local foreclosure. This was discovered after they had began to move in. The Realtor selling the foreclosure went in to pick up cards and found the scammed renters bringing in furniture. Wow!
Needless to say, it's a good idea to check the rental section of craigslist. You might might be surprised at what you find.
Good luck to those of you in large metropolitan areas, this might take awhile.