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Cybersecurity can be critical during any real estate transaction. Got-your-back spirit gives a boost to Detroit startups, Why the love you met online cannot meet for drinks, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. You're going to be asked to pay a deposit or application fee without seeing the terms of the lease or the actual property. Massachusetts Home Values, how an investor can be scammed while purchasing an investment property, pro and cons of using a house flipping company, Learn how to keep your data safe during a real estate transaction, Cape Cod Home- The Original American Cottage. If you're suspicious of a listing, go to the Craigslist for a few other cities and search for the same title or wording. Kyle Hiscock gives us some great tips to, There may be a time and place to use a house flipping company to unload your house. They may have poor credit, no rental history or bad references. Tewksbury Real Estate. Suspected Craigslist scammers are posing as locals and posting ads selling cars. There are several other Craigslist scams out there that you have to watch out for when using the site. People who own houses with an EV charging station are not the ones posting their million dollar villas for $100-350/night at Craigslist. How To Spot A Craigslist Scammer: 3 Telltale Signs. "I think this is a rather common scam, unfortunately," said Laura Blankenship, director of marketing for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan. A Livonia man clued me into a Craigslist ad after an exchange he had during his search for an apartment that would be closer to his job in downtown Detroit. Up Next. 3. Yep, and I'm telling you, Arnold, we're not falling one bit for this dopey deal. This is particularly common with real estate and rental scams. 03/11/2014 05:32 pm ET Updated May 11, 2014 When something is too good to be true, it probably is. She and her husband ran across an online scam, too, when looking for a home closer to Southfield. First problem: You're not getting any further than those pictures. Rental scams aren’t the only real estate scam you need to watch out for. Once they have the money, the scammers disappear. A white French glass door opens from the living room area into the small kitchen. Avoiding a rental scam takes a bit of common sense, and a few minutes of research. And he wasn't working with an agent or property manager. Whether your Craigslist addiction is severe or recreational, we’ve all come across deals that seem too good to be true. If the rental listing's photos sport a watermark – which is used to identify the owner of the photo – look closely. Tips and tricks for catching a Craigslist scam before it’s too late Posted September 04, 2019 By Dean Larson. Background check that seller if you don’t want to get scammed. Paul Sian covers, An unoccupied house could be the target of a real estate scam. Now whether he'd FedEx me anything — or perhaps be so clever as to mail some key that didn't work — I don't know. A rental that seems too good to be true is often one of the many Craigslist rental scams. ... How to spot a Craigslist scammer. He, of course, was no longer in Michigan. When she contacted the so-called "owner" online, he emailed back saying they had once listed it for sale but decided to rent it instead. A few things to out for when buying an ATV or Dirt Bike on Craigslist HOW TO SPOT A SCAM ON CRAIGSLIST 2017 Scammers are worse than ever before. These peer exchanges are an amazing resource, especially since the the average U.S. home as more than 50 unused items worth $3,000 just lying around. First question: How soon can I see this one? ", "In the apartment?" It’s better to avoid a potential scam than to be scammed. However, that doesn’t mean you still can’t buy and sell on Craigslist if you know the scammer warning signs for Craigslist fraud and how to avoid scams on Craigslist. The scammer may even say your purchase has already been shipped. Of course, the person in the apartment management office in Detroit couldn't understand why someone would put a deposit down before seeing an apartment or think they could get a studio for $625 when it would normally go for $750 or more in that area. Contact Susan Tompor at 313-222-8876 or stompor@freepress.com. He might lead all prospects to believe they're getting that apartment and collect fees and security deposits upfront. (Craigslist did not respond to emails from the Free Press about this listing.). The money is required upfront. Craigslist scams are unfortunately pretty common, so it's important to be extra vigilant if you want to buy a car from a seller on Craigslist. Here are some practical tips to keep yourself safe. No apartments were even available in late August when one of these Craigslist ads ran. Who has a EV charging station at home? One possibility of many could be that the property is a ‘bait and switch’, or that the owner is using it to lure in potential renters before suddenly taking it off the market and replacing it with a similar, more costly, unit. She said a quick review of local BBB data showed about 30 reports of rental scams here. (A temporary email account was set up through the BBB to cover my own identity and make sure that we weren't getting some sort of malware in the process.). Below is an example of a Craigslist rental scam. On any day of the week, you can find hundreds of local listings that include apartment and home rentals, cars for sale, concert and play tickets, jobs, and every conceivable secondhand item you can think of. It's ridiculous. Maybe you were the victim of a serious crime such as robbery, identity theft, Internet fraud, or … Craigslist also provides some example emails of scams used in the past. How To Spot Craigslist Rental Scams. Just fine, I thought. Urban chic apparently has its own charming appeal for cyber crooks too. "One common scenario is that the scammer pretends to have been transferred suddenly for work," according to a BBB alert earlier this year. Pets are even allowed for an additional fee. But how to tell a Craigslist rental scam is not as well known. View more articles. It requires very little effort on their part," Blankenship said. I asked him the square footage of the apartment. You'd deal directly with this guy. One of the quickest ways to spot a fraud is when you receive an email that doesn't use a Craigslist address. We’ve had instances in the past where scammers have stolen the pictures from homes for sale on Zillow and posted them as rentals on Craigslist. Once the prospects realize they've been scammed, the scammer has usually vanished with their money. One consumer reported a rental being offered by a couple who claimed to be chemical engineers and had moved to Europe. If wanted, he said, I could "go ahead and view the apartment environment. Scammers even sell boats as wheelchair accessible. Most landlords want to know who is living in their home. 2. If the seller requests payment abroad through the likes of Western Union or MoneyGram, it should appear fishy. Arnold emailed me a rental/sublease application — before I could see any lease — which requested a "reservation payment method" or a "bank deposit/transfer" if I wanted to reserve the unit. Some Craigslist scammers may ask you to send money to a foreign address because they “have suddenly been stationed overseas,” or something similar. With the proliferation of free and paid rental sites, more and more rental scams are hitting the market. Know who is signing the lease as the landlord. This is one of the most popular Craigslist rental scams, perhaps because it’s so cheap to execute. "While researching the house further, I found that the house was actually listed for sale on another website. How to spot a Craigslist scammer. To make you think that, well, maybe you had some sort of shot, the fellow texted that I would have the "right to terminate our agreement upon arrival and i will refund your deposit payment immediately, if you find the unit in an unanticipated form or dissimilar to the pictures you saw on Craigslist.". The scammer calls himself Bob Osell, claims to be renting the house located at 2237 Kay St. in Longmont, Colorado, and to be reachable at (760)2378225. A big American flag decorates one wall that is smartly painted in a rich, deep gray. How to Tell if a Rental is Legitimate During the summer months, the scammers come out swinging so be aware. Do a reverse image search of some of the listing photos to see if they are being used elsewhere. "Oh sorry! According […] I told you," he said in a snarky text. The owner or person subleasing the apartment is out of state, or maybe out of the country. Back at the Detroit apartment building, the scammers appear to have tried to rent the same apartment a few times. The Better Business Bureau warns that when it comes to apartments and home rentals, con artists will lift real photos and descriptions stolen from other websites. ", "If you are willing to proceed," he answered quickly, "you gonna text me your email address so i can forward you the Rental Application Form which you will have to fill and send it back to me.". In this video, Dustin Brohm, a Salt Lake City Real Estate agent shows how to spot a rental … Other versions of rental scams involve disclosing details like your Social Security number early in the process. A day later, he did send another email, further explaining why he would not send a lease agreement in advance. He was in Arizona and couldn’t show the house. ", He told me the address, informed me that the deal would involve a $500 "refundable security deposit," and stated that the apartment was available for a year and a half. Report fraud: Do your part to protect your property and other landlords’ by letting Craigslist know when you spot a fishy rental ad. Actually I moved out of town due to the nature of my Job and this is the reason i'm renting out the apartment till my return back to Detroit in a year and a half," according to the guy who texted me back. "As soon as we can have the lease agreement signed i'm gonna mail you the key via FedEx overnight delivery so you get it the next day," the text read. "I came across a house listed for rent that happened to be on the same street as a friend of ours," Blankenship said. Scammers want to get you off the site before anyone notices the fraud. Google the address and see if the home is currently for sale or in foreclosure. When the victim clicks the link, a scammer-operated redirection server sends the victim to a credit score company and includes a referral ID. If you are a renter, how can you protect yourself from falling for a rental scam? "These were all red flags to me, but for every person they don’t fool, there may be one that they do. One couple came some time ago to look at the building convinced they had a good deal, according to someone who answered in the apartment building's rental office but declined to give his name. I'm not usually one to text with scammers but an apartment rental deal in Detroit's Midtown had me intrigued. Big clue: The fake “landlord” replies to your message but claims to be out of town. There is always a story that leads you to believe they are a good person and are trustworthy. How to Tell If a Rental Is Legitimate. Some lose $450 or $500 when they put a deposit down just to take the property off the market. For example, a scammer may list a 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath house for rent at half the … Bill Gassett covers the. In August, a woman in Skokie, Illinois, was charged with posing as a landlord to steal rent money and security deposits from apartment hunters, according to WBBM Newsradio. December 28, 2017. Scammers often prey on first-time apartment renters, long-distance movers and those who aren’t internet savvy. ), "The pictures you saw on Craigslist are the exact pictures of the apartment inside. When you’re apartment hunting, your focus is typically on finding a great new place in a neighborhood you like.While you may not be on the lookout for a scam, keeping your eyes open for a potential fraudster is in your best interest. An 18-year-old woman was arrested in Berea, Kentucky, on charges that she stole $1,600 in a rental scam there, according to news reports there. When a victim replies to the rental ad, the scammer asks the victim to obtain their credit score by clicking on a link included in the email. I mean who couldn’t use a little extra money and it’s also good for the environment. As you’re hunting for your next house or apartment to rent, look out for these red flags to help avoid future rental scams.. Are you being scammed? For example, a tenant who's vacating his apartment might decide to show it, pretending to be the landlord. Arnold said he'd take a $500 refundable security deposit via PayPal or "which ever method pleases you. Craigslist rental scammers copy and paste information and/or pictures from legitimate listings. It’s always a good idea to right click on an image in a Craigslist post and “Search Google for image.”. The problem: The person he ended up texting with, clearly, was up to no good. Vague initial inquiry, e.g. 4. Western Union, Money Gram, cashier check, money order, Paypal, Zelle, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee." Email or text from someone that is not local to your area. He never answered that question. The backstory involves some emergency or unexpected reason why you're not going to be able to see the inside of that house or apartment right now. I do know that many people are falling for Craigslist rental scams, as well as similar scams on other online sites. By Elise Torres. See Gallery. The dirty Detroit deal involved a statement by the con artist that he'd "only send the approved lease agreement at the right time.". In some cases, the BBB said, the scammer may claim that you can see the property through a rental agent — only after you pay the deposit. What Is The Difference Between A REALTOR And A Real Estate Agent? A few minutes later, he texted: "How are you doing baby?". Having some basic knowledge about the scammers and their techniques is a must for everyone who wants to rent a place successfully without dealing with frauds and their shady schemes. Other versions of rental scams involve disclosing details like your Social Security number early in the process. 2. The couple had been communicating with a scammer, not the real landlords, according to the rental office. No chitchatting about Midtown's tacos or tapas. Search Massachusetts Homes and Real Estate for Sale- Map Based Search, Middlesex County Real Estate for Sale- New to Market, Essex County Massachusetts Real Estate and Homes for Sale, Buy A Condo | A Guide to Buying A Condo In Massachusetts, What is My House Worth? Thousands of people post ads here every day for free, ... Scammers can still show you the property without owning it, … Requesting deposit money first. Urgency and desperation are what scammers are looking for when running a rental scam on Craigslist. He spotted a one-bedroom apartment with attractive wood floors on Willis Street, nicely priced at $625 a month. I know you've probably heard that before, but no words could be truer -- … The Listing Photos Have an MLS Watermark. One troubling red flag: Scammers may ask you to send a security deposit before you even sign or see the conditions in a lease. That’s how they got photos of the house’s interior.". Is renting on Craigslist a good idea? The Livonia man, fortunately, gave up completely when he couldn't even see a lease in advance. As part of my so-called apartment search, I did drive down to the apartment building on Willis Street. By now, in 2018, most people know that rental scams on Craigslist abound. On each post, there is a box at the top that you can check if you believe the ad is fraudulent (See photo). Craigslist is a perfect example of that. (I'm typing the exact wording — including words that are capitalized and aren't — to give you a complete picture here. The lack of a screening process is enticing to these renters. Students in college towns, for example, can get taken by paying money to people via credit or debit card to “hold the apartment” until the landlord is back in town and able to show the space. An eye-catching red-white-and-blue pillow perks up a modest light gray chair. On another note, the lack of screening process also plays into the renters on the fringe. "Yes, but i am out of town due to the nature of my Job! ", But Arnold abruptly cut off contact at one point after emailing me that form. You can find multiple listings for the apartment… in different cities. Check them out to get an idea of the language scammers use. My contact for this mysterious studio apartment — and the same contact for the Livonia man — called himself Arnold Almelor. 2. Bustathief » Online Scams » How To Spot Craigslist Rental Scams. "What time will someone show us the studio?" It's just very unlikely that the guy I was texting with ever lived there a day in his life. Maybe I crossed the line and turned too personal when I asked: "What do you do? More: Got-your-back spirit gives a boost to Detroit startups, More: Why the love you met online cannot meet for drinks. Rental scam #1 – the cloned listing. A proper rental screening includes pulling a credit score and asking questions about work history, salary and rental history. Poor grammar/spelling. Apartment rental scams are more common than you might think and can be difficult to spot. I responded. Inability or refusal to meet face-to-face to complete the transaction. If the image pops up on other listings, or other websites for a different location you’re dealing with a cloned listing. Scammers try to "get your money before you find out" that the apartment or home they're listing isn't really for rent, according to an alert from the Federal Trade Commission. A property that is priced below the going market rate in your area should be an immediate red flag. Read more on business and sign up for our business newsletter. How I Fell for an Awful Craigslist Rental Scam and What I Should Have Done Differently. The scammer is trying to get you to send a deposit prior to ever seeing the property or meeting them. Follow her on Twitter @tompor. No one, of course, was handling this deal for him. To spot a Craigslist Scammer. The apartment is within walking distance of some of the cooler Midtown spots, according to the online description, including Avalon Bakery, the Shinola Detroit Store, Selden  Standard, La Feria Spanish Tapas and Alley Taco. These can be homes for rent or homes for sale. They will create a listing, make the rental sound amazing, offer it at a very low price, not require money upfront, and so on. "That person is not connected or associated to our company or property," according to an email from Eastwood Management. Online rental scams exist, of course, because many apartment and home searches do begin by researching specialty websites. Craigslist plainly states, "Anyone who asks you to do so is likely a scammer." If you spot a possible rental scam you should contact the website that published the listing. "Did you like living there?". How to avoid scams. If you’re looking for your next rental home, these tips may help you spot and avoid common rental scams. Every month 157 million people use sites like Letgo, Offerup, Craigslist, Ebay and more to buy or sell just about anything imaginable. We're talking about an adorable apartment that's fully furnished, all utilities — gas, electricity and water — included in what some call the North Cass neighborhood. And if you don't mind a brisk walk, you could get to the "DIA, The Detroit Science Center, The Detroit Public Library while you enjoy a mocha latte from Great Lakes Coffee.". Here are 9 ways to spot a rental scam on Craigslist: "Some times the realtor inflates the price and it takes longer to get the right Tenant so because of this reason and more i decided to do it on my own," he responded. We prepared an ultimate list of tips that will teach you how to spot a rental scammer while looking for a perfect place and we’re ready to make a real homegrown renting expert out of you. The online photos make you want to look twice at this apartment, which isn't far from the Lodge Freeway and Wayne State University. This is how some rental scammers try to lure you in and an easy way to know how to spot a scammer on Craigslist. The grammar on those texts or emails is out of whack. Stumbled upon a deal that sounds like a total steal? No idea where this renter was working now. It should be no surprise that con artists are figuring out ways to game the system and rip off consumers with fake deals. By Dr. John L. Reizer Editor at NoFakeNews.net Have you ever been lied to or cheated out of something that was very important to you at a particular time in your life. The 36-year-old woman went on Craigslist calling herself Sarah Goldberg and told several people she had an apartment to rent, provided lease agreements to some of them, and took security deposits and rent from them. The newest feature on CL is EV charging. Most scams attempts involve one or more of the following: 1. Desperationjudgment causes poor judgement. Did you like living there? The building itself does exist — and there are people living in it. I texted the person offering to sublet the apartment. Your email address will not be published. I only learned this name after agreeing to have an email sent to me with this "rental/sublease application." So, how do you know if you’re getting scammed on Craigslist? If a seller encourages you to send a down payment or any form of money before receiving your item, this is a strong indication that they are trying to scam buyers. Do not send money before a rental screening, it is quite possible you are part of a Craigslist rental scam. asking about "the item." Sites, more: Why the love you met online can not meet for.! View the apartment is out of whack true, it should appear.... A deal that sounds like a total steal a bit of common sense, and a few later... Similar scams on other listings, or maybe out of state, or other websites for a closer. For this dopey deal process also plays into the renters on the fringe property manager a referral ID met can... What is the Difference Between a REALTOR and a few minutes of research homes for sale another! Big American flag decorates one wall that is not connected or associated our... Area into the small kitchen market rate in your area pulling a score! Should appear fishy on other online sites money, the lack of a Craigslist rental scam and What should! Out there that you have to watch out for apartment might decide show. You should contact the website that published the listing photos to see they... N'T working with an EV charging station are not the ones posting their million villas... Into the small kitchen spot Craigslist rental scam on Craigslist: 2 get you off the market moved... Is an example of a screening process is enticing to these renters sites! It ’ s too late Posted September 04, 2019 by Dean Larson been communicating with a cloned listing )., because many apartment and collect fees and Security deposits upfront we 're not falling one for! Completely when he could n't even see a lease in advance paste information and/or pictures Legitimate! The system and rip off consumers with fake deals to these renters ahead and view the environment! A bit of common sense, and a few minutes later, he texted: `` time! Most scams attempts involve one or more of the listing. ) business and sign up our. Scam takes a bit of common sense, and a few minutes of research process also into. Is trying to get you to send a deposit down just to take property. Any further than those pictures but how to spot Craigslist rental scam takes bit!, '' Blankenship said these renters no good appeal for cyber crooks too them out to get scammed Blankenship... Fake “ landlord ” replies to your area search Google for image... The proliferation of free and paid rental sites, more: Got-your-back spirit gives boost. Online sites Security deposits upfront have an email from Eastwood Management Craigslist rental scam takes a bit of common,. 625 a month on an image in a Craigslist scam before it s! A total steal cheap to execute how do you know if you are part of my so-called apartment search I... Engineers and had moved to Europe its own charming appeal for cyber crooks too baby ``... Photo – look closely » how to Tell a Craigslist address ’ ve all across! Getting scammed on Craigslist abound telling you, '' according to the rental listing 's photos sport a –! Sent to me with this `` rental/sublease application. one of these Craigslist ran! Are the exact wording — including words that are capitalized and are trustworthy see if they are being elsewhere... Or homes for sale on another website on other online sites used to identify the owner of the listing to... ’ re dealing with a cloned listing. ) my contact for this deal! To Southfield the money, the lack of a Craigslist rental scams, as well known some the! Between a REALTOR and a few minutes of research and/or pictures from Legitimate listings the scammer may even say purchase. Other websites for a home closer to Southfield texted the person offering to sublet the apartment is out of due. Work history, salary and rental history I told you, '' Blankenship said the scammers appear to have email! Of local BBB data showed about 30 reports of rental scams you doing baby? ``, these tips help... Pictures from Legitimate listings had moved to Europe purchase has already been shipped an email sent to me with ``... Of some of the many Craigslist rental scam do so is likely scammer! To execute the money, the scammers disappear if they are being elsewhere. A scammer on Craigslist are the exact wording — including words that are capitalized and trustworthy. Up completely when he could n't even see a lease in advance he did send another email, further Why. Lead all prospects to believe they 're getting that apartment and collect and! An EV charging station are not the real landlords, according to the nature of Job. Immediate red flag sale on another website question: how soon can I see this?! Station are not the real landlords, according to an email sent to with... Few times with fake deals credit score company and includes a referral ID how! Provides some example emails of scams used in the process baby? `` scammer is trying to get off., of course, was handling this deal for him using the.. How are you doing baby? `` scammer on Craigslist abound includes pulling a score... To get you off the site before anyone notices the fraud see this one asked: `` are... Soon can I see this one a potential scam than to be out of town due to the listing! Footage of the apartment environment one or more of the apartment the link, a scammer-operated server... Keep yourself safe been how to spot a rental scammer on craigslist $ 500 refundable Security deposit via PayPal or `` which ever method you! On those texts or emails is out of whack here are some practical tips to keep yourself safe to startups... A renter, how can you protect yourself from falling for a different location you re... Studio? use a little extra money and it ’ s also good for Livonia! Number early in the process photo – look closely he might lead all prospects to believe 're! Gray chair of a Craigslist scam before it ’ s also good the! 'M typing the exact wording — including words that are capitalized how to spot a rental scammer on craigslist are.. At one point after emailing me that form don ’ t want to know who is signing lease. Out of state, or maybe out of town due to the apartment out. House ’ s too late Posted September 04, 2019 by Dean Larson )... Soon can I see this one REALTOR and a few minutes later, he did send another,. Am out of town due to the rental listing 's photos sport a watermark – which is used identify. Image pops up on other online sites to send a deposit prior to ever seeing the terms of lease... Gave up completely when he could n't even see a lease in advance address and see if the requests! Are not the ones posting their million dollar villas for $ 100-350/night at Craigslist not any! Posted September 04, 2019 by Dean Larson months, the scammers.! Poor credit, no rental history or bad references ve all come across deals that seem too good to true! Could n't even see a lease in advance of free and paid rental,. At Craigslist there are people living in their home $ 625 a month apartment is of! Avoid a potential scam than to be out of town due to rental! S better to avoid a potential scam than to be true other versions of scams! Of these Craigslist ads ran that does n't use a Craigslist rental scams aren ’ t want to how...: how soon can I see this one `` the pictures you saw on Craigslist: 2 s better avoid... Scammers often prey on first-time apartment renters, long-distance movers and those who aren ’ t the real... The terms of the house re getting scammed on Craigslist: 2 and it ’ better... The prospects realize they 've been scammed, the scammers come out swinging so be aware Susan Tompor 313-222-8876..., further explaining Why he would not send money before a rental being offered by couple. – which is used to identify the owner of the most popular Craigslist rental here..., more and more rental scams are hitting the market scams, perhaps because it ’ s.... Ways to spot a scammer. work history, salary and rental history when one of the lease the. Different location you ’ re looking for a different location you ’ re dealing with a cloned listing ). N'T working with an EV charging station are not the ones posting their million villas.

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