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Beware of Rental Scam posted to Craigs List

Real Estate Agent

One of my listings has been hit with a Craigs List Rental Scam. I listed a property in Hartford one week ago. I am not an expert on how this scam works but this is what I know.

Someone takes your MLS listing and posts it on Craigs List as a rental or a rent to own. Unusually cheap. They post their phone number and then make arrangements to meet the person at the house. (This is what I do not understand-how they get in) Then they take a check or cash from the prospective tenant and run.

Well, I started getting phone calls that they were at the property and no one showed up or they passed by the property and were very interested in renting it and how soon can the see the property. I had a lady call me and she gave me the phone number of the person she spoke with and he told her he is in Africa on mission work and the house will be vacant for the next year and that he owns the house outright and only wants the taxes and insurance covered.

Has anyone out there run into this?

What did you do?

What can we do to prevent this from happening on other listings?


By the Way this is a great house in Hartford, would be a great house for House Hartford. 3 bedroom, formal dining room, main level laundry, great deck.


Comments (5)

Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate


You cannot prevent the scammer from trying.  But, you can educate the customer to avoid.

I was clearing out the email archives yesterday, and came across two sets of email exchanges with folks about two instances of the scam on Craigslist.

May 23, 2011 01:31 AM
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC - Lafayette, LA

Unfortunately, there's not much you can do. Any data that is available online can, theoretically, be manipulated by spammers. As Mike indicated, all you can do is inform the prospect they've been manipulated and attempt to report the action to CraigsList.

May 23, 2011 02:03 AM
Ann Bellamy
Hard money lending for investors in NH and MA - Tyngsboro, MA
Lending to real estate investors since 2006

I don't think you can do anything.  Report to Craigslist, and be diligent.  Notify the callers of the scam so they don't get taken.

May 23, 2011 02:26 AM
Joe Lane Richland
Kennewick Richland (and West) Pasco WA Homes For Sale - Richland, WA
WA Realtor, 509.438.9344 www.LaneRealEstateTeam.com

"Then they take a check or cash from the prospective tenant and run."

Yikes!  This must only happen in landlord markets, as a renter market would be a little more competitive.  In a renter market folks are a bit more picky.

May 23, 2011 02:26 AM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

WARNINGS!  are ALL OVER Craigslist and one of the BEST/EASIEST ways to prevent them is to WATERMARK your PHOTOS.

May 23, 2011 02:33 AM