Scammers are taking advantage of the fact that in many places around the country it’s very difficult to get into a nice rental home. Many homes are put into the different listing services and rented out the same or next day.
Broker Chris Palamidessi says two of his recent listings were posted by another person on Craigslist. “What they were doing is instead of charging an application fee, they wanted a gift card. They wanted a photo of that gift card to be texted to them, so they could access the money on that gift card,” Palamidessi said.
Basically, the scammer is looking to convince the would-be-renter to give them the application fee or deposit anyway they can and disappear.
Here are some signs that are either in the ad or that come up during the conversation “You want to take this home off the market right away? We need you to wire money. We need cash upfront so we can take this home off the market.”
Any reputable property manager will want to meet with you and show you the property. Never send cash!
Bottom-line if you ever feel uncomfortable or if you have a question, reach out to a licensed professional.