Posted by: phillipsre | September 20, 2013

Prospective Renters…Beware of Scammers

forrentToday the Seattle Times featured an article about Craigslist scammers taking advantage of prospective renters. The classic example is a nice house in a great neighborhood available for rent at WAY BELOW market value. The renters think it is too good to be true and in most cases it is. Craigslist scammers are taking real ads for homes in neighborhoods like Queen Anne and View Ridge that would rent for anywhere between $2500 to $3000 and marketing them for $1200 or less, giving the renter a story about why the landlord is out of town, why they can’t see the inside, but send the money right away and they will send the tenant the keys.

Read the full article of how honest people were taken advantage of here.

Here are a couple things to remember when looking for the your new home:

  • If the ad is poorly written, with weird grammar and spelling mistakes, that is a good sign it is a scam.
  • If the number is from out of town, make sure they have a contact in town that can show you the property. A lot of times legitimate landlords are out of town, but likely they will have a neighbor around or someone that can show you the inside.
  • Do not send money without some type of written documentation, or wait to send money until you get the scam alertkeys.
  • When in doubt look for ads that have reputable property management companies or leasing agents renting the property.
  • If the ads have any pictures like these, you might want to keep looking!

If you are looking for a new property to rent, check out Phillips Real Estate Services rental search.

Happy house hunting and remember to be smart and know the signs of a scammer.

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