RENTER BEWARE! There is a new scam sweeping the country. At least 10 of my clients have experienced this problem. In a nutshell, the scammer posts a property for rent on Craigslist. Unfortunately, this person does not own the property and does not have permission to post the rental. Some common points are that the rental price is significantly lower than the going local rate and often the scammer claims that they were transferred out of the country and just want to find a good tenant for their house.
The hook is that they say that they cannot currently show the place so please mail or wire money to hold the unit and they won’t show it to anyone else. If you send money, it will be gone. If you have sent money, you were scammed. If you were indeed scammed, report it to Craigslist and the FBI.
If you are the owner of the property and did not authorize the ad,
- File an immediate complaint with the website the fraudulent listing is placed. There are normally reporting features on ads.
- Report the activity to the Federal Government (internet crime is federally regulated) at www.ic3.gov.
- If you know that the scam was successful, it is also strongly recommended that you file a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General’s office.