People tend to browse through the classified advertisements section of their daily newspapers when looking to rent out apartments. However, with just about everything moving onto virtual platforms in this current era of modern technology, an increasing number of people have turned to online advertising to rent apartments. Being perhaps the premier online classifieds advertising website, Craigslist is the preferred choice of many.
The Danger of Opting for Craigslist
The danger of opting for Craigslist and not dealing with real estate agents is the high risk of Craigslist apartment scams. Scammers who target the apartment rental market pose as either landlords or as people who look to rent out an actual apartment. When scamming potential buyers, scammers first attract the attention of many people by posting pictures of desirable apartments with unbelievably low price quotations which brings in numerous offers from many people who are anxious to rent the apartment. If you really like an apartment, you should check first it the person really owns it.
The scammer then collects money as deposits from all interested parties, severs contacts and never rents out the apartment. In Craigslist apartment scams such as this, it will come to light that the apartment was never the scammer’s to rent or that it was simply an altered version of a legitimate Craigslist advertisement.
Mi Casa es su Casa
One of the most popular apartment scams on Craigslist involves scammers posing as buyers of actual apartments. Here, the scammer sends a check to the potential victim and requests for the excess amount to be returned as he has ‘accidentally’ overpaid. Later on, the check will be found to be fraudulent and the ‘excess’ money that the victim sends would have been out of his own pocket. This type of apartment scam on Craigslist is more commonly referred to as the Accidental Overpayment method.
In order to avoid apartment scams on Craigslist, it is best to stay away from advertisements that have considerably low prices quoted for fantastic apartments. As an added precaution, buyers should insist on viewing the property before continuing with proceedings. Both buyers and sellers should also request for specific details about the other party, such as IDs, deeds, etc.
No personal information should be sent over email and special care should be taken to not reveal social security numbers at all costs. Following these basic pointers would result in a hassle-free apartment search, getting rid of the problems of worrisome Craigslist apartment scams. We recommend you check the real records yourself!