Renting on Craigslist? Beware.
For the past few months Brent and I have gone back and forth over whether we wanted to build, buy or rent a home. We finally decided we were too young to settle down in the country and have decided to rent until we decide where we do want to live. But after last night’s all-too long car ride home, I’m pretty sure we both regret that decision.
Two days ago, we found the absolute perfect rental on Craigslist. It was a cute, little cottage on a lake ideal for two people who love to paddle board. So we contacted the owner, had a few e-mail exchanges and drove over an hour to go check the place out.
A very nice man opened the front door and after introducing ourselves he furrowed his brows and asked, “Who are you again? My realtor normally tells me when potential buyers are going to stop by.”
And that’s when I knew we’d been scammed.
Turns out the listing was fake. Someone, somewhere — there are rumors swirling about Nigeria — stole the pictures of the home from its MLS listing and posted them on Craigslist along with a convincing description and irresistible price. The only clue it was a fake: there was no phone number listed.
That and the e-mail we received when we got home: “Could you please wire me your first months rent along with a security deposit?”
Yeah. It was definitely a scam, and don’t think it was the only one. Curious to see if there were more, I went searching on Craiglist this morning and found 2.
So if you’re looking for a rental on Craigslist, beware. If you don’t speak with someone on the phone, don’t waste your time going to see a place. And whatever you do, don’t wire someone money if you’ve never met or spoken with them. If you do, you’ll feel like this:
Good luck rental hunting! If you don’t need it, I know we will.