Beware of Property Scam Artists Lurking the Web
You click once to enter your browser, another few clicks and soon you find yourself facing the friendly classifieds site you may know as “Craigslist,” a few other details typed in and you’re on your way to finding your dream home.
To find the home of your dreams, the accessibility of the internet would have you believing this is as simple of a task as buying just about anything else on the internet. But not so fast; there are some scam artists lurking on the pages of craigslist disguised as your everyday friendly landlord.
Everyday thousands browse the internet unaware that their innocent home search could end in identity theft, fraud or emotional distraught.
First rule of thumb: if it seems too good to be true, it’s a possibility it is.
After reading over an advertisement on Craigslist that describes every detail of a home that you were looking for, you may decide to respond to this poster and inquire about this fantastic real estate property.
Many people all too quickly bite the line held by a mischievous scammer with an amazing opportunity to offer. And each day many find themselves faced with an eager landlord that is all too willing to accommodate them, but has just a few disadvantages.
To pinpoint a scam artist look for:
- A person who lives out of state or even out of the country and may not be able to meet you at this property
- Usage of incorrect grammar or strange wording in the advertisement or in their response; many scammers are overseas and do not understand our language
- Story telling. They may tell you an elaborate story about how they are not able to meet you at the property and will insist you rent this property without ever getting to step inside
- Take a look at the e-mail address they’ve used. It’s common for people to typically have a unique and even personal e-mail specifically for them or used for work. Pay attention to if the e-mail address seems almost too random
- They will request you wire them the money to complete the transaction
Always research the property online and check the legitimacy of the landowner or property management company. Keep in mind that they may even send you pictures of this property, but that all of the basic information and pictures can easily be “copy and pasted.” Don’t forget to trust your instincts and always use caution during your home search on craigslist.