Posted on May 10, 2018 - 10:52 AM
by Harriet Martin
The number of fake rental scams on Craigslist and other online classifieds continues to grow, with new aliases appearing daily. But while the names may change, the methods are always the same. These thieves, mainly based in Nigeria, the U.K., and in the U.S., are out to steal renter’s money and identity.
Here are several items to look out for:
The scammers tend to use yahoo, ymail, rocket mail, faster mail, live, Hotmail, and Gmail, and they also post ads under anonymous craigslist addresses
They use photos stolen from other property advertisements and many times copy the legitimate ad with the same description and photos.
Look for the misspelling of words and more formal language that isn’t commonly used in such online advertising. The emails will be overly polite or poorly written or express excessive eagerness to rent the property without having proper steps including property inspection, background and credit checks.
When there are two identical ads the monthly rental fee will be much different. For instance, a legitimate ad for a 4-bedroom house would be say around $1,350 per month. The scam ad will list the same property, same pictures and assume the homeowner’s identity but list it for $850. If it’s too good to be true it probably is. They will have a sob story or say they are not available to show the property but the renter can go and check if they wish.
What they all have in common is that sooner or later they send a request to transfer funds via Western Union, Money gram or some other wire service. Never, under any circumstances wire money at the request of the prospective “landlord” and never provide a bank account number, bank routing number or other financial information.
A renter should ALWAYS do business face-to-face with the landlord or property management company. It’s important to have accesses inside the property and to sign documents and contracts in person and in an office or professional setting.
"We recently sold our home in So. Florida and working with Harriet Martin and her team was a great experience. Harriet and her team are professionals in every way and make selling a house a pleasant experience. They have your best interest at heart and work hard to find you the best offer. I highly recommend Harriet and her team."
"What can I say about Harriett and Team .. Amazing, professional, caring are a few items I could use to describe her and team .. I first met Harriet as a friend of mine had referred her to me to manage my rental property... if I had only found her sooner. She rented my property easily and took care of everything! She then sold that property for me in Two weeks .. wow and at asking price.. she then helped me with the sale of my moms home when she passed away.. Harriet always made each transaction easy and seem less. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this lady.. she also has the most caring and professional staff .. I would chose her everytime.. thank you Harriett , Maritza and Lisandra"Julie Patterson