Craigslist Rental Scam

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Realty Arts NC Broker License #235526

The neverending list of scams in the Raleigh area real estate section in CraigsList is quite impressive.

Renting someone else's home out to an unsuspecting sincere prospective tenant just to steal the deposit money is another new low.

Actually, this happened to a coworker in our Cary Keller Williams Realty office.  We found her rental home listed on Craigslist where the scammer had copied and pasted the photo from

The email address was apparently real: her full name and a yahoo email address.  And when she was painting at the house in Raleigh, and cleaning up the yard, she noticed that people were driving by slowly and checking the place out.

Then I emailed her the link to the Craigslist scam, and she got the creeps.  Several of us in the office flagged the ad and it was down in a few more minutes.

But it was the same scam as described in the WRAL story above.  Keys in Africa.  Send money.  Will send keys.  It's been going on a while.  As far as we know, no one bit on the fraud, as no one came forward claiming to have rented the home. 

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Independent Broker/Owner, Realty Arts

130 Towerview Court,

Cary, NC


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Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Hi Mike, It is amazing the lengths people will go to for a scam.  Just think what they could accomplish if they would use that energy for something that was truly productive.

Mar 02, 2009 12:30 PM #1
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate


You are quite right.  For some folks something taken by fraud seems to have more allure than the same thing earned.

Mar 02, 2009 12:34 PM #2
Barbara Green

Mike,  I had no idea, although not entirely surprised.  As a sign of the times I have been helping my clients with more rentals than ever.  It's good to know what's out there.  Thanks for the warning. 

Mar 02, 2009 10:53 PM #3
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

Seems to be a lot of scams on Craigslist lately. How could these scammers get in the house though?

Mar 02, 2009 11:04 PM #4
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate


For every good intention, it seems there is a scam lurking....


The WRAL story says that the scammer mentions that the prospective victim will only be able to view the exterior.  And also says that the homeowner was sitting in the living room when someone tried to open the front door.  It's a scam that seeks to create TWO victims.

Mar 02, 2009 11:25 PM #5
Dave Dugdale
RentVine - Superior, CO

If you are interested I created a rental scam detection tool and video on this subject to help the credibility of my industry.

Apr 14, 2009 06:31 AM #6
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919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate
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