Renter Beware: Be Careful when Choosing a Rental Property
BBB Warns Renters to Beware of Bogus Home Rentals
Better Business Bureau is warning renters to be on the lookout for scammers on Craigslist and other online classifieds when searching for a home. Phony ads for rental properties across the country are cropping up, and are specifically aimed at stealing money from unsuspecting renters.
Consumer Alert: Online Rental Ads Could be Phony
The rental housing scam works by criminals searching websites that list homes for sale. They take the information in those ads lock, and post it, with their own e-mail address, in an ad on Craigslist (without Craigslist's consent or knowledge) under the housing rentals category. To sweeten the pot, the houses are almost always listed with below-market rental rates. You arrive at the home on the agreed-upon date, but there's just one small problem the house is not actually for rent and its owners know nothing about your agreement.
Online Rental Scams Target Renters and Landlords
Within seconds of searching the Internet, potential home renters can find all the information they need about a possible new home, such as pictures, prices and virtual tours. However, such tools give scammers the perfect opportunity to take advantage of consumers. Better Business Bureau warns renters to be on the lookout for phony ads on Craigslist and other Internet services aimed at stealing money.
Spotting Signs of a Rental Scam
Consumers in search of an apartment or house to rent often rely on online rental listings in order to find the right place, especially if they're looking in another city or state. Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage. Some make up phony listings, and try to lure renters with the promise of extra- low rent. They ask potential renters to send money before they see the apartment or sign a lease.