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Landlords, renters, and owners need to be careful of Craigslist rental scams

Colorado Springs Rental Scams

Craigs List continues to have  scammers post bogus rental properties for rent in Colorado Springs

 

My husband and I are Colorado Springs Real Estate Investors and we recently had our ad “hijacked”.ravencrest

I placed an ad on CraigsList which included my phone number and email, and all of the details about the property, including many photos and the listed rent of of $835.00.

I usually repost the ad every couple of days; and after the second time I reposted it, I started getting calls asking about the house I had for rent at $600.00.  I told the first caller that they must be reading the ad incorrectly, as our house was listed at $835.00.

Then, after I got 2 more calls, I thought I’d better double check for myself.  Did I make a mistake when I posted the ad?    I did find another ad someone else had posted, with the address of our rental property and with the pictures I took, but it only had a yahoo email for the contact information, no phone number; and a lot of the details of the property had been omitted.  I quickly contacted Craigslist and reported the bogus ad; and it was promptly removed from the site.

Since the bogus ad was posted much cheaper than our original ad, I’m sure some potential renters did send emails requesting more information.

This is not a new issue, but continues to be a recurring problem.  Realtor.com recently posted an article about scammers posting rental ads on CraigsList; and Freddie Mac also has posted an article on their blog about the same issue.

Here’s some suggestions for potential renters to follow:

(1) Meet the landlord in person (a renter can always check public records and see who owns the house.)

(2) Do not rent any housing without seeing it in person (if you live out of town, get someone else to preview it for you.)

(3) Do not submit to credit checks or background checks until you have met the landlord/agent in person.   Don’t give out your social security number or other private information.

(4) If the rental deal sounds to good to be true, there’s a reason.

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Kathy (719-287-1049) [email protected]

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