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Craigslist Rental Scam: Is Your Listing Next?

May 6, 2011  |  by Anne

Look out! Your listing(s) could be very popular on Craigslist—with scammers and unwary renters. This scam has been all over the news, so we want to give you a head’s up.

Would-be renters get sucked in by online ads with unrealistically cheap rent, plus real photos, addresses and descriptions that scammers copy from MLS listings.

When eager renters respond, they’re told to mail in a rental deposit in exchange for keys, which of course never arrive. Some agents have had potential renters show up at homes they’ve listed, insisting they have the right to occupy the property. It’s a bad feeling all around.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing MRIS or your local Realtor Association can do to prevent this “property identity theft.” Realtors and the victims can contact craigslist, the police, FBI and/or consumer protection agencies.

The more we all spread the word, the more renters will beware. For detailed stories, check out these news and blog links. Or google “Craigslist Rental Scams.”

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