Watch for Scammers on Craigslist
We've been getting calls recently from people seeing our listings in the "for rent" section on Craigslist. This scam is getting popular in the Wausau area, unfortunately.
Scammers will steal photos of real homes from the local real estate MLS database and put up an ad looking for someone to rent their home, but what they want to do is get you to send them a security deposit via wire transfer or online.
Here are some red flags to watch out for-
- The home is for rent for a cost that seems "too good to be true."
- The renter only wants to communicate via email and will not let you go into the home to look at it.
- The renter claims to be in another state on the other side of the country or out of the country for work and looking for "the right person" to rent their home until they come back.
- Strange spelling or grammar mistakes that don't seem like something a native English speaker would make.
Someone asking via email for your bank account number or a wire transfer without providing a company name or any other way to contact them.
- The person seems almost TOO nice, but always shies away from answering questions or even seems angry or offended that you are asking questions normal renters would ask.
- The photos or the home address are listed as for sale with a Real Estate agent in town, and the information about buying the home doesn't say anything about renting the home.
If you think a home rental might be a scam, you can contact the realtor listing the home to ask questions. If you see a fake ad on craigslist, be sure and mark it as prohibited to help shut these types of scams down.