Craigslist has been life changing for many landlords over the last 10 years because it gives them the ability to easily market their rentals even if they live out of state.
Sadly, with anything good online also comes the bad and it’s not be uncommon for rental scams to pop up over the last 10 years that have cost owners hundreds of thousands of dollars.
What Does A Typical Craigslist Rental Scam Ad Look Like?
Thanks to the Internet, it’s possible for anyone to create convincing rental ads since there’s tons of public information online for properties across the United States.
A typical rental ad will have normal pictures of the property but the BIG catch is that when a potential renter contacts the “owner” or landlord they will be told to go checkout the property themselves because the owner is working “out of state” or “out the country” and can’t meet with the prospective renter personally.
Tip – The rent in most scam rental ads will often be listed at $500 to $1,000 less than what the rental property would normally be rented for
Even though these ads often do look like outright scams to the naked eye, it’s not uncommon for renters to fall for them and even be willing to send the “owner” a payment via PayPal or Western Union so that they will be sent the keys.
If you have found that one of your properties is being listed online in a scam ad you should notify the police as soon as possible, flag the ad on Craigslist and then place a legitimate ad on Craigslist with the correct information for prospective renters to contact you.
After placing your rental ad on Craigslist you should also create an alert using Google Alerts so that you will be notified if another scam rental ad is posted on Craigslist using your rental property’s address.
Besides placing a real rental ad on Craigslist you should also have someone place a “for rent” in the yard for your rental property and notify the neighbors that your property is for rent.
Hire A Property Management Company
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of rental scams is to hire a property management company because a property manager will be your first line of defense at making sure that your property is being legitimately managed by a real property manager.
To learn more about the services we can offer you contact us today at (209) 572-2222 or click here to connect with us online.