Craigslist Rental Scams & How to Avoid Them
April 25th, 2018
Due to soaring house prices and interest rates, many people are ditching their home ownership dreams to rent instead of buy. Although this may be a cheaper option, the long-term benefits of home ownership can severely outweigh the positives of renting. The steady increase in renting versus owning has the attention of internet scammers, who are using rental properties as a cover to steal your hard-earned money. These are called “Craigslist Rental Scammers”, but they can happen anywhere online. Here are a few ways to help protect you in a search for a rental property:
- It’s Too Good To Be True. If you feel as though a rental is too good to be true, it probably is. Often times, scammers use extremely low prices and overly flexible leases to spark your interest. In the current market, renting is not that simple.
- Landlord Wants Too Much Before You See Anything. If the landlord asks you to wire money or provide your information before you even see the inside, it is a scam. Often time scammers will tell you to drive by the outside, instead of letting you visit the property. This is a huge red flag.
- No Information. If they don’t ask for information from you before prompting for money, this is a scam. Most legitimate landlords need you to fill out an application, legal documents and provide documentation before a deposit is requested.
- Bad Grammar, Illegitimate Emails & Screening Phone Calls. If the potential landlord has error-ridden emails/texts, illegitimate email addresses, or refuses to take phone calls, there is a good chance you are being taken advantage of.
- Overseas Landlord. If the property is being handled by someone for an owner who is “overseas”, be cautious. They will insist they are managing the property for the real owner but disappears with your deposit.
Although the housing market is very competitive, Summit Funding, Inc. has experienced professionals that will guide you and make you feel at ease.