Some of you may have heard about rental scams on Craigslist before, but I thought it was worth repeating to get the word out. I suppose it is like that old saying: if I save one person from this scam it was worth it!
Here is how it goes: you are advertising your rental on-line, such as on Craig’s List. You get a response from someone interested in your property. They probably use incorrect grammar, but you overlook it. The email is not spam as they will respond to any messages you send them. They ask for pictures and some other details to make their requests seem credible and build your excitement.
Eventually, they will tell you that they are located out-of-state or out of the country and that they will take the place sight unseen as they trust you (again a ploy to make you feel good). They offer to pay the first month’s rent and deposit (possibly first two months up-front). The scam artist will tell you that they are going to send you a cashier’s check for several thousand dollars more is needed and for you to wire the money back to them.
If you were to take the bait, you would receive a cashier’s check that looks official. You deposit the check in your bank account and wire the difference to some distant place. Two weeks later your bank calls and tells you that the cashier’s check you deposited was fake. You are now out the money you wired to them!