Craigslist Rental Scam

A rental scam has proven to be a growing problem.  The scam begins by lifting photos and information about a home for sale and then the scammer places the information on Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia or other internet sites that advertise homes for rent.  When someone inquires through the provided email they get a response usually involving the “owner” being out of area, but to check out the house and if they like it they can mail a deposit to the “owner”.  Here is a sample email recently received by someone on one of my listings…

Hi,

Yes my house still available for rent, but presently I’m on business trip out of state. I’m into supply jewelries, refine gold, uncut and cut diamond stones and precious stones buy and sell to most jeweler in California, Miami and New York, therefore I am presently at the mine to make some purchase of gold and diamond from some of my African miners. couple of months back I wanted to sell the house because I don’t stay there often and my ex-wife divorced me because she complain I don’t have personal time for the family and she moved on with her new boyfriend while my daughter is busy with her career at the film academy in New York and also concentrating on her fresh marriage, So I have to do the selling through a Realtor which I got one to do that for me but later I changed my mind because the Realtor is asking beyond what I offered him so I told him to cancel the sales because I want to rent it out myself for sometime before thinking on what to do with it, for this reason please ignore whatever Realtor sign you see on the house or whatever sales advert you see over the internet in a short period of time the Realtor will delete the post on the internet.

This is the address of the house, I will advice you drive by and look at it from the outside and confirm the address: 6208 171st Street Southwest, Lynnwood WA 98037,2,750ft thoughtfully built with charm & character. Front porch; enter walnut hardwood flrs; GREAT room concept open living rm w/gas fireplace, dining, kitchen, back entry with patio to mud-room; fabulous kitchen with a deckair conditioning, Outside Smoking OK. Utilities Included in the rent. The house also comes with Washer & Dryer! masterbd room large 3/2 and half bath; walk in closets, so much to appreciate!!!….

So get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting home. The rent is US$1200/month and $700 for security deposit with . ANY TYPE OF PETS ARE WELCOME!

I am looking forward to hear from you ASAP so that I can forward you an application to fill out and discuss on how to get my house for rent, are you ready to move in anytime soon?

Thanks.

Remember:

  1. Use common sense.
  2. Be very cautious when inquiring about a home for rent.
  3. And never send money to someone you have never met.

The following is an industry video on how Realtors are to handle such a scam with the FTC…