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How to Spot Craigslist Rental and Housing Scammers?

Posted by Elena Tchoumakova on Apr 16, 2022 in Blog

Craigslist is a popular website for many people to find a new rental home. Homeowners, real estate brokers, property managers, and agencies in the San Francisco and Palm Coast area use this website to advertise rental homes and attract potential clients. The ease of use of Craigslist for property listing and removing allows landlords to grab eyeballs quickly with thousands of people searching for a rental property each minute. However, it has become a notorious place for housing scams by many because of the same reasons – its popularity and ease of use.

If you are a victim of a Craigslist scam, they may take your rent, deposit, commission, or even your personal information. Furthermore, they waste your valuable time, and you may mistakenly believe in something that doesn’t even exist. As a professional real estate company, we warn every client seeking rental homes in the Palm Coast area about the many rental scams on this popular site and how to spot housing scammers.

Here're a few red flags to spot Craigslist rental scams to save both your time and money:

Unbelievably Cheap 

A rental price that sounds too good to be true is probably a scam. It is always good to take an idea about the average rental price in the region where you are searching for a rental home before start hunting. They will create a listing for a very low price, with no upfront payment or security deposits to make the rental sound amazing. Be careful when encountering something fishy like this.

The listing has no photos or videos of the property

It is another red flag, and you should stay away from such listings on Craigslist. Someone who really wants to offer a property for rent will definitely want to show you how a property looks and feels from every front to influence your decision. There must always be professionally-taken photographs and videos to showcase the property to let potential clients judge if a property fits their requirements.

Asking for personal information too early

If someone wants your personal and sensitive information upfront before even showing you the property through a site visit, alarm your bells and stay aside. Scammers may ask for various personal information, including your social security number, bank information, your occupation, credit card details, your driver’s license, and so on in return for information you requested from them about the rental property. It is truly a rental scam, so start looking for something else.

Advance payment

Scammers may also ask for some kind of advance payments upfront via PayPal, or wire transfer without meeting in person or showing you the property. This is a red flag, and you should check things not twice but thrice before taking such decisions. It is always recommended to make any upfront payment only after seeing property papers or at the time of signing the rental agreement.

These are the potential red flags that make you alert before taking your discussion any further without verifying property details and the owner’s information. Feel free to contact professional real estate brokers and consultants to find out the right property you need without becoming a victim of housing scammers.