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How to Identify a Craigslist Rental Scam

Identifying Property Rental ScammersCraigslist has become a valuable tool for landlords, giving them the ability to market their properties free of charge on the internet. They can provide information about the property’s location, price as well as updates and amenities. In fact, when looking for homes or apartments, many prospective renters turn to Craigslist knowing there will be local listings in which they can use for research and comparison. What’s even better is these prospective renters can search from anywhere, whether in San Diego or across the nation in New York.

While craigslist can be a valuable tool for landlords, it is also a prime target for scammers posting fake real estate ads. There are several ways to identify a fake real estate posting on Craigslist, and they can be relatively easy to spot once you know what to look for. We’re going to list a few signs that indicate a posting on Craigslist is fake.

When an advertisement looks like a great deal, but no address or phone number is listed and no photographs are included, chances are high that it might be a scam. While this doesn’t hold true for all occasions, anyone looking to seriously rent a property in San Diego would likely include contact information.

Another red flag are posts that state an online payment to conduct a credit check is required, but those with very low credit can still qualify. It is likely that whoever placed the ad is looking to take someone’s money in the form of an online payment, particularly individuals who have bad credit and are in need of a property manager who doesn’t place much importance on credit history.

A final quick way to check if a Craigslist listing is fake is to email the poster. If their email a string of letters and gibberish, chances are it’s been automatically generated and is just used as a ‘burner email.’ This makes the email nearly impossible to trace back to the creator and is a common tactic of scammers to avoid being caught.

In some cases, false ads on Craigslist may use pictures from other actual postings. If you are a landlord and one of your single family home rentals, apartments or condos is being used for one of these fake advertisements, the first step is to contact Craigslist and report the listing. If you’ve been contacted by people trying to confirm their purchase after they sent money to the scammer, it can be tough to inform them they have been scammed. Take their information and consult your lawyer as soon as possible – you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit for the actions of someone else.

Whether you are looking for a new home or apartment or are a landlord in need of marketing assistance, contact us today. Click here to read more about our business and see how our 24/7 team of dedicated real estate professionals can assist you in renting your ideal property!