Warning: Craigslist Apartment Rentals Scam
Apparently, Nigerian con artists have taken to Craigslist in search of uneducated internet users who will unknowingly send their money(deposit) for an apartment rental that doesn’t even exist. Here’s how the scam works, you think you’re looking at a legitimate apartment ad. The images of the apartment, both inside and out, look great, the neighborhood is good and most importantly the price is right. Lots of times, these images are from a real location, a location the scam artist scoped out in advance, sometimes these fake apartment ads even contain a real address. People in search of an apartment drive by the address, decide they like the apartment and send their deposit in before ever seeing the inside of the rental property. This deposit they are sending in, is actually going to some scum bag in Nigeria who makes a living by ripping people off. The real owners of the apartment they think they just secured, they have no clue this took place. On top of all this, these con artists are having potential tenants fill out a credit application, which is turn opens up the possibility of credit fraud and identity theft. With all of this in mind, don’t be a fool. If you plan to rent an apartment off of a Craigslist listing, make sure you do your homework.
First off, you need to see the inside of the apartment. If you are out of state and cannot make it to a showing, have someone else look at it for you.
Secondly, never send someone a credit application without confirming who they are. Would you post your social security number here? Didn’t think so. Sending this info to someone whose background you are unfamiliar with, is in essence, the same thing.
Finally, never send the deposit via money order(Western Union), pay with a check. For more information, visit: Craigslist: Avoiding Scams and Fraud