Beware of Rental Scams Posted on Craigslist
Consumers and REALTORS® across the country have reported rental listings posted on Craigslist which secure a deposit up front but the property is not a legitimate rental. The posting is simply a way to either get you to send a deposit or to provide your personal information to the scamster who posted the fake listing. This type of scam is designed to make the consumer part with money and/or personal information.
The posting generally involves a property that is actually for sale. However, in some ads, the postings show property for addresses that either do not exist or that may exist at a particular address but the property is not for sale or rent. The scamster posts a picture of the property along with a description of the property, e.g. the number of bedrooms/ baths, etc.
To better protect your listings, Google alerts can be setup by going to www.google.com/alerts. We recommend setting up several alerts (1) Property address (2) MLS # (3) property address with ML #. In case you haven’t done so set up an alert for your own name. This wont stop the scams but certainly makes the listing agent aware of the situation and puts the agent in a position to notify the authorities.
Members and consumers who run into a potential craiglist scam should report the issue immediately to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
REALTORS® are encouraged to print the press release below and talk with their sellers about the potential of their home being fraudulently posted on Craigslist before it happens.
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