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Avoiding Craigslist Real Estate Scams

Craigslist real estate scams are everywhere. When you are looking for a home for rent, you may find that there are countless properties available on Craigslist. They show you photos of a place and disclose the rent as being very affordable based upon the neighborhood that you are looking in. All looks good, but how do you know it’s a scam or not?

Many of the scams on Craigslist show you rental properties that are not actually for rent. People agree to mail you a key to the location because they are not local. They want you to fill out an application and provide them with a background check fee so that they can approve you for the property.

Here are some of the most important things to know:

  • – The background check fee is their way of scamming you out of your money
  • – The application is going to include a lot of personal details that could lead them to stealing your identity

Many people have fallen into the trap of Craigslist real estate scams and you can avoid these by working with a local real estate agent that can take you through the properties for rent and show you that the places are legitimately available.

The rentals that are being listed by the scam artists are often very easy to identify if you know what you are looking for. The cost of the rent is going to be considerably lower than the other properties in the area. This is done to lure you in and make you think that it’s such a good deal that you will act quickly so no one else is able to get the property.

The person who is running the scam may also not speak the best of English. They will say that they are not local and upon being approved, they will mail you a key. This is not standard protocol when renting a property. You should be given the key in person and be able to view the property ahead of time.

If you are not sure whether a real estate listing is a legitimate one or not, there are some things you can do. You can ask for the physical address and take a drive down to the property. You can also ask to talk to the current or previous renters to find out what they think of the house.

Scams take place on Craigslist every day and you don’t want to be the victim. If you are looking for a rental, the best thing to do is contact a local real estate agent where you can trust that they are doing everything by the books. You can view the property and then fill out an application, which does not include a fee to run a background check.