How To Spot Craigslist Rental Scams To Avoid

Have you come across a Craigslist rental scam lately? Here are my tips to avoid Craigslist scams and real estate scams so that you can stay safe. Over the past few weeks, we have been searching for the perfect rental home for us to move into, but sadly we have come across many Craigslist rental…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: January 5, 2024

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Have you come across a Craigslist rental scam lately? Here are my tips to avoid Craigslist scams and real estate scams so that you can stay safe.

Over the past few weeks, we have been searching for the perfect rental home for us to move into, but sadly we have come across many Craigslist rental scams. We found many great homes, and actually signed a lease the other day on one (more information on that to come soon).

Even though we found a rental home, we came across many Craigslist scams and Craigslist rental scams firsthand. It led to us wondering “How do I avoid Craigslist rental scams?”

I only received around 10 emails back from potential landlords and three of those I knew were definitely scammers. There might have been others as well. 

Due to this, I knew I had to create a post on the topic of rental scams for people who are looking for apartments and houses on Craigslist for rent.

You can find rental scams everywhere (Craigslist, Zillow, and more), and many people are duped every single day out of hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars.

P.S. If you are looking for a rental, your credit score can be extremely important. You can check your credit score with Credit Sesame for free here.

Interesting articles on Making Sense of Cents that you may want to read:

How do Craigslist rental scams work? How do rental scams work on Craigslist?

There are cases where the person might not actually be a scammer, but you should be on high alert if you decide to continue through with a potential rental that you are unsure about. 

Hopefully with my advice on renting on Craigslist tips below, you’ll be able to find a REAL rental.

Some scams that you may come across include:

  • Craigslist rental scams
  • Craigslist apartment scams
  • Craigslist housing scams
  • Craigslist vacation rental scams
  • Fake house ads on Craigslist
  • Rent to own scams on craigslist

If you’re wondering if Craigslist rentals are legit – yes, they are! But, you need to be careful. So, before you hand over a check, your credit card, or your driver’s license, please make sure that it is not a Craigslist home scammer that you are dealing with.

Below, you’ll learn how to spot a scammer on Craigslist.

Related: What You Need To Know About Renting A Room In Your House

What happens if you get scammed on Craigslist?

If you get scammed on Craigslist, they may be taking your rent money, security deposit, or even your personal information. Plus, they may waste your valuable time, and you may even be thinking that you are truly moving into the rental property.

This can be heartbreaking, and you definitely do not want this to happen to you.

tiny house interior - Craigslist rental scams

How can you tell if someone is scamming you on Craigslist?

There are a few ways to tell if you are dealing with a Craigslist rental poster. Here’s how to spot a rental scammer on Craigslist.

1. The “landlord” is showing you the home, but do they actually own it?

One of the many Craigslist rental scams I have been hearing about a lot lately is when a scammer seems legitimate and even shows you around the rental. You might believe they are the landlord since they somehow got into the rental, but that isn’t always the case.

Sometimes scammers will break into a back window or even steal the key from the actual landlord so they can show the rental to unsuspecting potential tenants. This can be a huge disaster, as many people will believe the scammer since they are pretending to be the landlord.

Another Craigslist scam I have heard about that is related to this is when a renter moves into a home, pays the deposit, rent, etc., only to find out weeks or months later that the actual owner is at their door. The owner might have been on a long vacation or they might have just let the home sit vacant while trying to sell it, and thieves noticed their absence only to take advantage of the situation. This can be bad as you will have to vacate immediately and you will be out of money, such as the refundable deposit you may have given to the scammer.

My Craigslist rental search tip: Always make sure the person renting out the home is the owner or the property manager.  There are many fake house ads on Craigslist. You can usually do a simple search on who owns the property by looking up city records. You also may be able to call the building’s manager (if there is one) and ask if the apartment is for rent and who is renting it.

2. A rental that seems too good to be true is often one of the many Craigslist rental scams.

This is how some rental scammers try to lure you in and an easy way to know how to spot a scammer on Craigslist. They will create a listing, make the rental sound amazing, offer it at a very low price, not require money upfront, many luxurious amenities for a low price, and so on.

Also, if it says something like smoking and pets are allowed, I would be a little cautious as well. I haven’t seen very many rentals that would just say that upfront unless they were really desperate for a renter.

This is a clue that you might be the victim of a Craigslist scam. If the landlord makes it too easy for you to live in their rental, then you need to be very careful. Scammers are often hoping that someone will be caught up in a “great deal” and come running to them with cash.

My rental search tip: Always do your research before you give anyone money. You should check other listings in the area to see if the rental is comparable and you should also see if the place is actually for rent. In most cases, it is not.

Here’s one Craigslist scam email I received (I actually received this response for two different rentals I inquired about):

How can you tell a scam on Craigslist? fake house ads on craigslist

3. A scammer wants your information or money before you view the home.

If you are asked to fill out a rental application before you view a home, then you might be in the middle of one of the many Craigslist rental scams. The scammer is hoping that you will give them personal information, such as your bank account number, social security number, or something else. They will then disappear once they receive all of this information. This is a bad situation because you basically just gave your identity away.

Also, if you are asked to give money before you are allowed to view a home or see the interior, then something is not right. This is most definitely a scam and you should avoid it. You should never have to pay loads of money in order to just view a home.

My rental search tip: You should always do your research, view the home, and more before you give out any extremely personal information. Occasionally, you may have to give your ID to the landlord, but other than that they should not need anything personal from you just to show you the rental house or apartment. Now, many times the Craigslist rental does for your email address, so that they can contact you. That is fine, simply be safe!

Here’s another Craigslist rental scam e-mail I received. This person sent me two e-mails so I just copied and pasted both e-mails into one so that you can easily read them both:

Craigslist houses for rent

4. The landlord’s email has been compromised – Big Craigslist housing scams!

One scary Craigslist rental scam I recently heard about is when all of the information in a rental listing is correct. The home is actually for rent, the e-mail and phone number are real, and more.

However, when you e-mail the landlord you believe you are actually talking to them. It turns out that you are actually talking to someone who hacked into their e-mail. This can be a scary Craigslist scam as it can be hard to detect.

My rental search tip: Even though this Craigslist rental scam seems difficult, it can be easy to overcome. You should contact the landlord via the phone number that is listed on the real listing and talk to a real person. Then, you should verify everything that was discussed in the e-mails. Most of the time, landlords have no idea that their e-mail address was even hacked.

Related: Phone Scams: The Best Tips To Avoid Becoming A Victim

5. They give you a sob story.

Some rental scammers will give you a sob story in order to make you feel bad for them. But, think about it: why would a landlord need to tell you this at all in the first place?

It’s a business for them.

If they give you some sort of sad story, then it is most likely a scam. Lots of Craigslist rental scammers will give you a sob story such as having to move to take care of family, being forced to move due to the military, or something else.

Don’t believe it.

6. Lots of typos are a red flag

If the email or the paperwork has a lot of typos, then this is usually a sign that you are dealing with a Craigslist rental scam.

So, as you are reading their emails, the home rental application, and more, check to see if there are a lot of glaring mistakes. While the grammar and everything may not be perfect, if there are a lot of obvious errors then I would be a little cautious.

Frequently Asked Questions About Craigslist Rental Scams

How do I verify a rental on Craigslist? How can you tell a scam on Craigslist?

You may be wondering “How do you know if a rental is legit?” or “How do I make sure a Craigslist rental is real?”

There are many different things to be aware of when looking for a rental online. Here are my general tips before falling for Craigslist housing scams or Craigslist apartment scams:

  • Always make sure the person showing the home is the landlord or property manager.
  • If a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
  • If the landlord is trying to push a lot of urgency your way, then I would be wary. For example, if they say that they need someone to move in tomorrow because they are flying overseas, and that’s why they have such a good deal, then they may be a con artist.
  • Be careful with your personal information, so that you are not the victim of identity theft.
  • If anyone ever asks you to wire money, you should not. Most scammers will ask for money to be wired and this should be your first red flag that something is not right. Keep in mind that if you wire money, you CANNOT get it back. Too many people think you can get wired money back.
  • Does the listing and/or e-mail communication with the “landlord” have many misspellings? Does the e-mail refer to you as Sir or Madam? Do they say they are out of the country and cannot show you the home until you pay? Do they claim to be a missionary or a reverend? If any of these are true, then this is usually the sign of a scammer.
  • Does the person never want to meet in person? If you never meet the landlord, then it is most likely a Craigslist rental listing scam. The landlord or their property manager will want to meet you, not avoid you.
  • Do they only want you to peak through the windows in order to view the rental? This is a huge red flag if they never want to meet you and instead want you to only look through the windows. Legitimate landlords will want to meet you and rental ads that state otherwise are most likely fake.
  • Does the Craigslist home for rent seem like a really great deal? If so, you may want to ask yourself why they are offering such a great deal. Real owners don’t think you are doing them a favor. Instead, they see it as a way to make money.
  • Do they mention Western Union or receiving funds via money order? If so, then it may be a scam as scammers love to mention Western Union. You simply want to be careful if they ask for either of these.
  • Are they letting you skip any type of background check? Sometimes there are credit checks, background checks, and so on. If it is too easy to get the rental, then it is probably a scam.
  • Always trust your gut instinct as there are always other places to rent in the world.

As you can see, there are many ways to learn how to spot a rental scammer on Craigslist. There are many fake house ads on Craigslist, so you want to be careful.

Are Craigslist rentals legit? How do I know if a rental is legitimate?

Yes, Craigslist rentals cans be legitimate. I have personally found Craigslist houses to rent (and lived in it) through Craigslist.

Below, you will see how to tell if a Craigslist rental is legitimate or if it is a fake Craigslist ad, and how to spot red flags.

Are Craigslist rentals safe? Is renting from Craigslist safe?

Yes, Craigslist rentals can be safe. You simply need to follow the tips in this article so that you can stay away from Craigslist rental scams and find legitimate home rentals.

Why do people post fake rentals on Craigslist?

People post fake rental ads on Craigslist because they are scammers and are looking for easy money. Plus, some potential renters who may be looking for a new home may be a little desperate as well, because everyone needs a place to live in, of course.

Is it safe to rent a room from Craigslist?

Yes, it can be safe to rent a room from Craigslist. Follow the tips here, and make sure you get along with your potential future roommates.

You also want to be safe on Facebook Marketplace, and anywhere else where you may be looking at potential homes to rent.

Someone posted my house for rent on Craigslist, what do I do?

If you have a realtor or real estate agent and your house or condo are currently for sale, I highly recommend contacting them and seeing what you can do. This is because many times homes that are for sale will be listed for rent on Craigslist through a fake ad.

You should also report the fraudulent Craigslist ad to Craigslist. Doing this will help to curb Craigslist rental frauds and help anyone who may fall for the Craigslist rental scam.

You also will want to go to your local police department and attorney general to see what they can do for you as well.

How do I protect myself from Craigslist rental scams? How do I avoid getting scammed on Craigslist?

Don’t give money or any of your personal information (such as your bank account number, social security number, and so on) until you are 100% sure that it is a real rental on Craigslist.

Also, if the person requests money or your personal info from you before you even view the rental property, then I would be careful as well.

You will want to make sure you do your research before you give the person cashier’s checks, a PayPal account, or even Venmoing or sending a Zelle payment to them. Whatever way that they ask for payment, you simply want to be careful and spend your time to make sure that you are not dealing with a Craigslist scammer.

Unfortunately, there are many Craigslist rental scams on the internet which are scamming potential renters.

P.S. There are over 200 comments below (you may have to click “« Older Comments” to see all of them), and many of you have been sharing your Craigslist rental scam stories and screenshots of exact emails. This is a great way to learn how to catch a rental scammer on Craigslist. Let’s continue to help one another out, thank you!

How to spot Craigslist housing scams? How to spot a rental scammer on Craigslist? 

I hope you enjoyed today’s article on how to find Craigslist rental scams. There are definitely many fake ads out there, but do not let a Craigslist scammer deter you. There are ways to learn how to avoid rental scams on Craigslist so that you don’t get scammed.

Instead, I recommend doing your research and being careful before you hand over money or start a wire transfer. You may want to ask locals about a specific rental property, search anything you can on Google to see if the rental pops up for you (such as if you can see any complaints for that specific address), reaching out to a property management company, and more. This is so that you can make sure you are talking to the true owner of the property or whoever works for them.

After all, you don’t want to give scam artists a security deposit, Moneygram, first month’s rent, application fee, cashier’s checks, Venmo, Zelle, or whatever else they want without some verification that it is all real.

And, if a landlord asks you to send over gift cards as a form of payment, it is most likely fake and you are dealing with a Craigslist scammer. I have never, never heard of a landlord asking for a gift card as payment. It can be easy to fall for a rental scam, especially in today’s rental market where there is no rental inventory, which can lead to a lot of desperation.

Also, please be careful and watch out for Craigslist sublet scams. You can use many of the same Craigslist rental scam tips above to avoid Craigslist sublet scams.

But, there are legitimate rentals on Craigslist, you simply need to be careful. This may mean making sure to meet the property owner face-to-face, doing some research on the contact information that you are given, and more before you give a personal check and last month’s rent.

I, personally, have found a home rental on Craigslist and it was a great home. You can find Craigslist apartment rentals, Craigslist house rentals, and more that are legitimate – you just have to be careful.

What Craigslist rental scams and Craigslist apartment scams have you seen or heard about? Have you wondered how Craigslist rental scams work? Have you ever been the victim of any type of scam?


Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. sean Dailey

    I just had a email sent to me in st.cloud Minnesota..

    Thanks for your email. The house is still available. Let me start by introducing myself.My name is Thomas Perovich..I own the house located at 5948 Haven Rd SE St. Cloud, MN 56304. first and foremost,I am hearing impaired, not deaf though just Hard of hearing. I would have loved to be able to get to contact you on the phone but due to my condition, emails are the fastest means for us to communicate now.

    The initial plan was to sell out the House which I tried, but my agents inflates the price of house because of their selfish gains and it takes longer to sell.i am telling you this in case if you find the house on another website or you found a sign board in front of the house, that is the old adverts,Please ignore. I need a responsible person, i don’t have a problem with your credit as long as you can take good care of the home. I want it to be clean and be taken care of as if it were yours. Pet are allowed as long as they are not destructive. The rent is $650 and the security deposit is $650

    i’m away on my new job so i won’t be able to come and show you around the house as i would have loved to, but attached below are pictures of the interior of the house so you can see what it looks like from the inside . You are free to ask any more information you would like to know about the house and also visit the location.the address is written below.

    DETAILS ABOUT THE HOUSE..

  2. Lee

    I’m running into a bunch of these types of scans as I get ready to move to Nashville. I started googling the address and if I saw it on Zillow, I would contact the real estate agent to see if it was for rent and if so, how much. I also got wise to looking up the address under the county auditor site because a quick search will tell you who the current owner is.

    I did run into a few rentals where the scammer used the real owners name in his email address but of course, he and his wife had to move to another state because of a job and so they couldn’t show me the place…..

    1. Alisa

      Have you seen anything about the “rental America” website? I am moving to Nashville and I’m trying to decide if this one is a scam.
      Message reads ;
      😍Hey Alisa

      Thank you for reaching ,😍

      It is still available for rent and I have set some simple terms& condition for rent that you must accept. And the conditions are:

      1.You must pay rent on time
      2.I do not allow smoking or any Criminal Activities at this residence.

      If you’re comfortable with ALL of the terms & want to set up a time or have any question, you can apply instantly online at:
      (link omitted)

      *Remember you must pay the $10 Application Fee to confirm your Application. If approved, this fee will be credited towards the first month’s rent.Let me know when you done…

      Best Regards,
      😍 Amanda Wall😍

      1. Emily

        Hey Alisa,
        I was wondering the same thing. I’m looking for a room around Seattle and came across (almost) the same automated response.

        Hello,

        Thanks for your interest. Yes the rental you’re interested in is still open
        for rent.

        If you’re interested in set up a time of viewing, you can submit your
        application asap here: [link omitted]

        ‘*’But remember you must have to pay the fee(only $10) to confirm your application,. Otherwise I’ll not accept it. If approved, this fee will be,credited towards the first month’s rent,

        And must write there on the last box of the Application Form

        (1) About yourself in a few words

        (2) your current address.

        (3) when you want to move in….

        Everything about this screams scam to me, but at the same time if this whole thing is legit that would be really nice, because the listing is a really good deal.

        1. Grace

          Hi Emily, I know your comment is old but just so you and others are aware, in Seattle you are not required to give any info before viewing a property other than your ID when requested.

      2. Emily

        Update: apparently a lot of people get the same or similar emails for listings across the US.
        https://www.reddit.com/r/renting/comments/hk0nxg/potential_scam/

        Using my better judgment, I’d say it’s a scam.

  3. A C

    I recently came across one of these the phone number was ‭+1 (225) 725-9781‬ and they spent less than a minute on the phone with me each time. They called me three times in one day to offer different ways to send the money. Charging 1300 when the actual rental after looking it up went for 2600.

    Report them if you can. Told them I would submit this information to the FBI and they immediately stopped calling and emailing.

    Ridiculous what people will do. Stop the scam. Stop the nonsense. Report, report, report!

  4. mika

    My mother accidentaly felt for this and sent pictures of her, and her family, and income information so our identity is def being used atm. =__=

  5. Mika

    And the scammer only needed A picture, not a 26 pictures of her family and their lives =___=

  6. Kate Fuller

    Scammed in Salem! A character calling himself Wallace Hickson pretending to be agent for owner named Richard Horst (there actually is a Richard Horst — financial muketymuck back east). Offered a rental that was just what we needed while transitioning from home just sold to home just bought. We were so frantic and tired we fell headlong into the trap. We gave the rotter $1112 along with a bunch of personal info including DOB to “secure the reservation.” Stupid! Come to find out – too late – the house is not a rental at all. We’re very worried about identity theft. Does anybody know whether that’s a real worry with a scammer like this? We’ve contacted our banks and frozen credit reports but it’s so worrisome and just wrong. Look out for ads for 1783 Cottage Street in Salem OR. It’s the home of some poor innocent drKagged into this rotter’s scheme. Infuriating.

    1. Travis

      Sign up for life lock

  7. Not Today

    Good morning D**** G***,I hope all is well with you ? I got notified that you are interested in my home listed on zumper, which is located at 3736 W Twonley Ave,Phoenix,AZ 85051
    The home is currently available for move-in
    I’m really seeking for an honest and responsible person/family to occupy the home and maintain the property for us.
    My family and I recently moved here in Michigan because of the contract I received, which will last for four years. The home is a wonderful place you will love living in. It’s a three bedroom and two bathroom home with a square feet of 1,868. Basic utilities such as dishwasher, dryer, electric stove, fridge, washer, air conditioner, sewage and trash are included in monthly rent. If really you are interested in renting from us please get back to me so that I can forward you the rental

    application form to fill out and then we will proceed further
    Monthly rent: $900
    Security deposit: $800
    And total move in is $1,700

    Please fill out the application form and return it with any of your valid I’d card

    Name (First name/ Middle name/Surname ) : ______________?
    Phone numbers (home, cell and office line ) # :_____________?
    Marital Status:__________?
    How many proposed occupants :__________?
    List all in addition to yourself including approx. age :__________?
    Present Address :____________?
    Will you have pets :____________?
    Please describe Breed, size :___________?
    Personality of pet :__________?
    When do you plan to move in, please write the exact date____________?
    Intended length of lease:___________?
    Do you agree to pay the payment before you move in:____________?
    If you are asked to make a down payment to secure the house and take it off market, How much will you be able to pay

    :____________?
    Length of previous tenancy :___________?
    Have you ever been evicted___________?
    Present occupation :____________?
    Are you a section 8 applicant_____?
    Monthly Income :____________?
    Do you own a Car :_________?
    A copy of your ID:(attached in email)____________?
    Do you work late at night :______________?
    Do you smoke :______________?
    Do you drink :______________?

    After my research, I learned the house is actually $1695/month and 1650 sq. ft. Lol

  8. Angelia Veliquette

    Received the email below regarding the same house I found for rent on a different site for $2600 a month.

    From: Peter Ciarlante
    Subject: [External] STILL FOR RENT.

    Thanks for showing interest in renting my apartment

    And it will be available for long/short term stay. . Moreover, are you very clean,kind and easygoing? because my wife and I spent a lot on our property, so we want someone who can take care of the apartment.

    Kindly let me know as soon as possible because we need someone who is reliable to occupy it. • I will like you to drive by to the building to view the exterior of the building for you to know where the apartment is located

    The apartment has the following features below:

    • Large living room
    • bedroom with full size bed and TV
    • Kitchen with dishwasher
    • Bathroom with bath, new washer and dryer
    • Desktop PC, Internet connection are included,
    • Utilities & Parking included.

    LOCATION
    – The apartment is located at 231 Somerset Bridge Rd #2109, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 and it is very close to metro stations, restaurants and stores.

    AMOUNT
    – The rent is $900 per month including all bills such as water, electricity, gas e..t.c with a refundable deposit of $1000 which will be refund back to you at the end of your stay in my apartment

    PARKING!
    There is 1 parking space allocated to the unit in the front of the building, If you are coming with more than 1 car you will have to pay extra $20 for the second car.

    WIFI AND ETHERNET CABLE
    Wifi and ethernet cable is available in the unit to enhance a full speed internet with high speed

    So let me know if you are okay with the location so i can get back to you with more pictures of the apartment

    Waiting for your answer

    Regards
    Peter

    1. Chloe Pruett

      I’ve been in contact with this Peter fella too, for a rental in Panama City, FL. Almost fell for it but thanks to you and scammers.com, I still have my money! Also goes by Robert Ciarlante. Phone number was 949-393-1927. Email was peterciarlante199@outlook.com. Wanted me to send money through Venmo to his “assistant”, @patricia0404 (Patricia Profit). What a load of bullocky.

    2. Bob Dean

      I just got the same email. But he’s changed his name to Brian Selman

  9. Cresentia D Grant

    I just got this email today.

    Jara Mogi
    To:
    Cresentia Grant

    Sat, Oct 17 at 8:43 PM

    Hello,

    Thanks for your interest and inquiries about my house. My home is still available for rent and needs no amendment, we are looking for a responsible person/family to occupy and maintain the house now that we are not around. My wife and I just traveled to California for a program called SERVING IN MISSION (SIM), you can view the link for more info: (—-).

    We will be away for about 5 years or more that is why I have made up my mind to put up my house for rent to whomever that will take good care of it. However my initial plan was to sell the house which I tried, but the realtor keeps inflating the price and it takes longer to sell which I don’t like so I decided to put it up for rent or rent to own. The utilities included are Dryer, Washer, Internet, cables, Trash, Electric, Dishwasher, Refrigerator, Oven, Microwave and more.

    GENERAL HOUSE FEATURES:

    House Address: 9601 W Rio St, Milwaukee, WI, 53225

    Rent Per Month: $800

    Security Deposit: $700 (Refundable)

    Large 3 Bedroom 2 Bathroom

    Pets are fully welcome.

    There is also high speed wireless internet access.

    RENT QUESTIONNAIRE FORM

    Name (First name/ Middle name/Surname): __?

    Phone numbers (home, cell and office line) #:__?

    Marital Status: __?

    How many proposed occupants: __?

    List all with ages: __?

    Present Address: __?

    Will you have pets: __?

    Please describe Breed, size: __?

    Pet personality: __?

    When do you plan to move in, please write the exact date?

    Intended length of lease: __?

    Do you agree to pay the payment before you move in: __?

    Length of previous tenancy: __?

    Present occupation: __?

    Are you a section 8 applicant?

    Do you work late at night: __?

    Do you smoke: __?

    Do you drink: __?

    I ___ , Certify that answers given here are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I authorize investigation of all statements contained in this application for tenant screening as may be necessary in arriving at a tenant decision. I understand that the landlord may terminate any rental agreement entered into for any misrepresentation made above. Looking forward to hearing from you with all these details so that I can have it in my file in case of issuing the receipt and contacting you. Await your reply so we can discuss how to get the document and the key to you.

    Thanks and God bless

    Herbert Megan
    (820) 900 2015

  10. R.

    Thanks for your interest and inquiries about my apartment. Yes the apartment is still available for rent and we are looking for a responsible person/family to occupy and maintain the house now that i am not around. i just traveled to Ukraine, for a program called SERVING IN MISSION (SIM),you can view the link for more info: . I will be away for 3 to 4 years or more that is why I have made up my mind to put up my apartment for rent to whom ever that will take good care of it. I am not after the rental fee but an absolute care of my property. If all arrangement goes well, we will have the entrance keys and other relevant document in a hard copy paper shipped to your present home address for you to move in at your convenient date.

    FEATURES : Laundry, Electric Range, Electric Heat, Car park.
    AMENITIES: Air Conditioning, Deck, Cable TV, Ceiling Fans 24 hours Internet service, Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal, Microwave, security alarm, Pets Friendly, Refrigerator, Washer / Dryer.

    PROPERTY DESCRIPTION
    Property Address: 1900 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94109
    Number of Bedrooms: 1
    Number of baths: 1
    Rent (Including all utilities): $1100
    Refundable Security Deposit: $400

    SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENT APPLICATION FORM BELOW:

    RENT APPLICATION FORM.
    Name (First name/ Middle name/Surname ) : __________?
    Phone numbers (home, cell and office line ) # :__________?
    E-mail :__________?
    Best time to call :__________?
    Marital Status:__________?
    How many proposed occupants :__________?
    List all in addition to yourself including approx age :__________?
    Present Address :__________?
    City/State :__________?
    Will you have pets :__________?
    Please describe Breed, size :__________?
    Personality of pet :__________?
    Preferred move in date :__________?
    Intended length of lease:__________?
    Do you agree to pay the payment before you move in:__________?
    Earliest possible date of deposit payment:__________?
    Length of previous tenancy :__________?
    Present occupation :__________?
    Do you work late night :__________?
    Do you smoke :__________?
    Do you drink :__________?

    I ____________, CERTIFY that answers given herein are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I authorize investigation of all statements contained in this application for tenant screening as may be necessary in arriving at a tenant decision. I understand that the landlord may terminate any rental agreement entered into for any misrepresentation made above. I will be looking forward to hearing back from you with all this detail, so that i can have them in my file in case of issuing your rent payment receipt to you and for contacting you. Your quick response will be highly appreciated, so that we can discuss on how to get the documents and the keys of my property to you via Express Delivery Services.

    Remain Blessed
    Nathan Adam

    1. Rosemarie Escalante

      This was for Craigslist San Francisco, fyi, Pacific Heights Neighborhood: Thanks for your interest and inquiries about my apartment. Yes the apartment is still available for rent and we are looking for a responsible person/family to occupy and maintain the house now that i am not around. i just traveled to Ukraine, for a program called SERVING IN MISSION (SIM),you can view the link for more info: . I will be away for 3 to 4 years or more that is why I have made up my mind to put up my apartment for rent to whom ever that will take good care of it. I am not after the rental fee but an absolute care of my property. If all arrangement goes well, we will have the entrance keys and other relevant document in a hard copy paper shipped to your present home address for you to move in at your convenient date.

      FEATURES : Laundry, Electric Range, Electric Heat, Car park.
      AMENITIES: Air Conditioning, Deck, Cable TV, Ceiling Fans 24 hours Internet service, Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal, Microwave, security alarm, Pets Friendly, Refrigerator, Washer / Dryer.

      PROPERTY DESCRIPTION
      Property Address: 1900 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94109
      Number of Bedrooms: 1
      Number of baths: 1
      Rent (Including all utilities): $1100
      Refundable Security Deposit: $400

      SO IF YOU ARE REALLY INTERESTED I WILL WANT YOU TO FILL THE RENT APPLICATION FORM BELOW:

      RENT APPLICATION FORM.
      Name (First name/ Middle name/Surname ) : __________?
      Phone numbers (home, cell and office line ) # :__________?
      E-mail :__________?
      Best time to call :__________?
      Marital Status:__________?
      How many proposed occupants :__________?
      List all in addition to yourself including approx age :__________?
      Present Address :__________?
      City/State :__________?
      Will you have pets :__________?
      Please describe Breed, size :__________?
      Personality of pet :__________?
      Preferred move in date :__________?
      Intended length of lease:__________?
      Do you agree to pay the payment before you move in:__________?
      Earliest possible date of deposit payment:__________?
      Length of previous tenancy :__________?
      Present occupation :__________?
      Do you work late night :__________?
      Do you smoke :__________?
      Do you drink :__________?

      I ____________, CERTIFY that answers given herein are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I authorize investigation of all statements contained in this application for tenant screening as may be necessary in arriving at a tenant decision. I understand that the landlord may terminate any rental agreement entered into for any misrepresentation made above. I will be looking forward to hearing back from you with all this detail, so that i can have them in my file in case of issuing your rent payment receipt to you and for contacting you. Your quick response will be highly appreciated, so that we can discuss on how to get the documents and the keys of my property to you via Express Delivery Services.

      Remain Blessed
      Nathan Adam

  11. Bur Naby

    Hi

    I’m happy to inform you that the place is still available for rent. The apartment is available for short and long time term lease is also accepted but before we proceed any further, I want you to know the kind of tenant l’m looking forward to have.

    I’m looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at all time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own. The person must be clean, quiet, respectful, honest and responsible; someone that will treat the house with care and respect. I don’t need the partying type but if you can convince me that you’re capable enough to taking care of the apartment if I decide to accept/approve you as my new tenant, I’ll be glad to let you rent from me for as long as you wish. I want you to know that I’m on a missionary assignment with my family in the (United state of America) to serve God and humanity

    The apartment is located in a safe and secured neighborhood which I think it is the most important and paramount thing for one to know before relocating. You’re free to drive or walk by so you can tour the exterior of the building if you wish to. My wife and I decided to handle the rental process ourselves due to our past experience with estate agents and tenant because, all they care about is their own commission instead of taking time to verify applicant application and do a proper background check, the last tenant that rented from us through an estate agent destroyed most of our valuable home appliances. I know how much my wife and I spent to replace this things that were destroyed in the apartment , lot of people have contacted me regarding the apartment, but not just sure of who to accept due to the horrible experience we had with the last tenant so I’m really taking my time to look for a very responsible person that we can trust in as a tenant, all I want is a very responsible person that will take care of the apartment like his/her own and if you can assure me the apartment will be in good hands, I’ll be happy to let you rent from me for as long as you wish.

    The rent includes all utilities and close to all amenities. The place is available for immediate move in or date agreed upon.

    INCLUDED IN THE RENT: Cable / Internet, WIFI, Kettle – Toaster – Dishwasher – Freezer – Microwave – Oven – Dryer – Heat – Water – Parking – AC – Laundry – Electricity and much more.

    Fill the rental application below and send it back to me as soon as you can if you are really interested in renting the apartment .

    ***APPLICATION FOR TENANT***

    ( Private and Confidential )

    Fill below information correctly

    FIRST NAME:__________

    MIDDLE NAME:__________

    LAST NAME:__________

    (CELL)PHONE: __________

    DATE OF BIRTH: _____________

    KIDS: _____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY? ________

    SINGLE OR MARRIED: ____________

    PROFESSION:__________

    PRESENT ADDRESS: _____________________

    CITY: _______________

    PROVINCE:______________

    POSTAL CODE: ____________

    WHEN DO YOU WANT TO MOVE IN? ______________

    HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING? ____________

    DO YOU HAVE CAR?_________________

    REASON FOR LEAVING? _______________________________________________________________________

    WHAT’S YOUR CREDIT SCORE? _______________________

    HOW MANY MONTH RENT ARE YOU WILLING TO PAY UPFRONT? _________

    HOW SOON CAN YOU MAKE THE DEPOSIT FEES? _________

    DO YOU HAVE PET? _________ If more than one, how many?_______

    Please describe type(s) of pet(s)

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    HABITS

    DO YOU SMOKE? ______________

    DO YOU DRINK? ______________

    DO YOU WORK LATE NIGHT? _________

    PICTURES OF OCCUPANT? _____________

    REFERENCE(S)

    NAME: ____________

    ADDRESS: _________

    CELL NUMBER: ____

    EMERGENCY CONTACT

    NAME: __________________

    RELATIONSHIP: _______________ (CELL)PHONE: ___________________

    DATE:__________

    I, ……………………………………….. CERTIFY that answers given herein are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I authorize investigation of all statements contained in this application for tenant screening as may be necessary in arriving at a tenant decision. I understand that the landlord may terminate any rental agreement entered into for any misrepresentation made above.

    Thank you

  12. Nobdoty

    OH MY GOD THEY ARE STILL AT IT!! “Missionary in the US” bs again!! On Graigs list Canada

    Scum went by the name of Bert Goodman. I thought it was strange for a landlord to post such a wall of text. Talking about real-estate, like wtf its rental, theres no Realtors involved this guys probably foreign.

    “”Hello,

    Thank you very much for taking your time to email me. l want you to know that the property you are writing me about is still available for move in but before we proceed any further l want you to know that the kind of tenant l am looking forward to have,clean,quiet,respectful and responsible someone that will treat the house with care and respect. l don’t need the partying type but if you can assure me of the safety of the house if i decided to accept you as my new tenant l will be happy to let you rent from me for as long as you wish.I want you to know am on the missionary assignment here with me and my family to United State .
    The house is located in a safe and secured neighborhood which i think it is the most important thing for one to know before relocating. You are free to drive or walk by so you can tour the exterior of the building if you wish. Me and my wife decided to handle the rental process ourselves due to our past experience with estate agents and tenant because all they care about is their own commission instead of taking time to verify applicants application and do a proper background check, the last tenant that rented from us through an estate agent destroyed most of our valuable home appliances. I know how much me and my wife spent to replace the things that was destroyed in the house,a whole lot of people have contacted me regarding the house but not just sure of who to accept due to the horrible experience we had with the last tenant so i am really taking my time to look for a very responsible person
    that we can trust in as a tenant, all i want is a very responsible person that will take care of the house like his/her own and if you can assure me of the house will be in good hands, i will be happy to let you rent from me for as long as you wish.

    The monthly rent fee of the apartment is including the utilities include Hydro, cable /internet access,Central Air Conditioning, Laundry, Garbage Chute, Pets OK,Parking, dry cleaning,Heating, Electricity,TV, fridge etc and everything its already been furnished,K
    Fill the rental application form below and send it back to me as soon as you can if you are really interested in renting the house.

    *****RENTAL APPLICATION FORM****
    ( Private and Confidential )
    Fill below information correctly…
    FIRST NAME:__________
    MIDDLE NAME:__________
    LAST NAME:__________
    (CELL)PHONE__________
    KIDS _____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________
    PRESENT ADDRESS: _____________________
    CITY: _______________
    STATE:______________
    ZIP CODE: ____________
    WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN? ______________
    HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING? ____________
    WHY ARE YOU LEAVING? _______________________________________________________________________
    HOW MANY MONTH RENT ARE YOU WILLING TO PAY UPFRONT_________
    HOW SOON CAN YOU MAKE THE DEPOSIT FEES_________
    DO YOU HAVE PET _________
    HABITS
    DO YOU SMOKE ______________
    DO YOU DRINK ______________
    DO YOU WORK LATE NIGHT _________
    OCCUPANT MEANS OF IDENTIFICATION DRIVER LICENSES OR I.D CARD _____________
    REFERENCE
    NAME_____________
    ADDRESS_____________””

  13. Dan

    Here is the email response that I received from FOUR different “owners”. The text is identical except for the state where they have already moved (e.g., one is in Florida, another in Texas, etc.) and the address of the unit. The rent is amazingly low for Queens, New York.
    Hello,

    Thanks for your interest in my apartment, I am sure you will be asking yourself why my rent is low, that’s because i am not too concern about the money,all am interested in is a decent and responsible tenant,someone who would take great care of the apartment as if it were his or hers. I am very certain that you would love the comfy of the apartment and its peaceful neighborhood.There is no Registration or Agency fee of any kind since you are dealing directly with me the Landlord,The reason am giving this apartment out for rent is because of my new contract in texas..Moving out of state for 3years will be a blessing to someone in need of an apartment, my wife and i would be glad to use this opportunity to put smile on someones face.

    INFORMATION TO BE NOTED
    Rent Per Month: $900 (Including all Utilities)
    Security Deposit: $900(Refundable)
    LOCATION : 31-31 33rd St #3, Astoria, NY 11106
    APARTMENT FEATURES:
    Bedrooms: 1 (very spacious) with a living room.
    Bathrooms: 1 (newly renovated)
    Sqft: 750
    Property type: Apartment not furnished but the kitchen is equipped with brand new appliances.
    Parking: Yes
    Pets: Yes
    Lease term: Both long & short term
    Utilities included: Heat, Hot water, Gas and Electricity.

    COMPLETE THE TENANT APPLICATION FORM BELOW,

    FIRST NAME:
    MIDDLE NAME:
    LAST NAME:
    AGE:
    SEX:
    MARITAL STATUS:
    CREDIT SCORE:
    CELL PHONE:
    HOME PHONE:
    PRESENT ADDRESS:
    WHEN DO YOU INTEND TO MOVE IN:
    HOW LONG WOULD YOU BE OCCUPYING THE APARTMENT:
    DO YOU HAVE PET:

    After i have received these details above, i will discuss with my wife and get back to you with my terms on how we would conclude the Lease process so you can move in without any delay,feel free to call me anytime on my cell number: 347 997 1568
    hope to hear from you soon.
    God Bless

  14. Anthony

    Another similar example of a response from a craigslist.com posting in Santa Cruz, CA this week. Touting “snow removal” as one of the features was pretty blatant.

    Hello
    Thanks for your interest and inquiries about my house.the house is still available for rent and we are looking for a responsible person/family to occupy and maintain the house now that we are not around. Myself and Wife just traveled to Texas for a program called SERVING IN MISSION (SIM), you can view the link for more info: . We will be away for 2 to 3 years or more that is why I have made up my mind to put up my house for rent to whom ever that will take good care of it. However, my initial plan was to sell the house but it was not successful because the Realtor raised the price which made it
    difficult for me to sell before leaving the States , It has already been taken off the market as for sale so there is no need to contact
    any Realtor.Also how long do you intend to stay? How soon do you intend to move in?

    Details:
    Rent: $1000 (monthly)
    Damages Deposit: $700
    Date Available: Asap
    Bedrooms: 1
    Bathrooms:1

    Address:
    116 Glenview St Santa Cruz, CA 95062, USA

    Amenities in the apartment:

    Appliances: Electric Stove, Fridge,/Interior: Air Conditioning,Microwave,Balcony, Deck, Patio or Porch,Over sized
    Closets, Internet Cable Access Ready,Washer & Dryer Connections,Furnished Hardwood Floor,Ceiling Fan(s), Parking,Dishwasher,(gas),and Snow removal.(Hydro is extra),Extra Storage Area, Fireplace.Tenant Criteria: Smoking Outside, Pets allowed….

    NOTE : I’m 50 years old, You can move in the House in the same day that you will receive the keys. The only problem is that I’m already in(Texas.USA) because we started the work, but you don’t need to worry because I’ve made all arrangements to rent the House from here. iwould like to know alittle something about you. Don’t be offended but i must know to who i will rent my house. Kindly get back to me with the Below information..

    APARTMENT RENTAL APPLICATION FORM
    ( Private and Confidential )

    Fill below information correctly…

    1)Your Full Name ?
    2)Present Address(where you reside now) & Phone ?
    3)How old are you ?
    4)Are you married ?
    5)Occupation ?
    6)Current rent payment ?
    7)Reason for moving out ?
    8)How many people will be living in the Apartment ?
    9)The rent fee available now ?
    10)How long are you willing to stay ?
    11)When do you intend to move in ?
    12)Do you have a pet ?
    13)Do you smoke ?
    14)How many Month or Year Do you want to Stay?
    15)Deposit : One or Two month Deposit are required?
    16)Occupant Picture?
    17)Reference Details?
    18)identity id card

    Get back to me as soon as you fill the application form, I can guarantee you that this is a great house so looking forward to a future collaboration and friendship.

    Cheers

  15. Sara

    I recently found a “too good to be true” deal… Just wondering if anyone else has had contact with Rental America. Not Rentals with an S but Rental America. I asked the person who posted the ad if it was legit and they of course say it is but they can anything. Big flag was one of the main words in their website is misspelled……So is that truly a scam?

  16. Stephanie

    For people looking in the greater Seattle area, I just had yet another bad experience with another scammer, email received from Houses Keeper , and text messages from (206) 208-3005 from a guy calling himself Jacob.

    When I was looking last May/June, it was difficult to find anything through any means because there were so few properties becoming available and/or landlords/property managers weren’t even allowed to have showings. I had started looking on Craigslist, because I myself had used it to list and rent my sub-basement studio apartment a number of years. It appalled me at the blatant attempts to defraud people, and I was lucky that I was pretty good at spotting them immediately. I had an elderly friend who was desperately looking for something in a much lower range, and thank goodness she had gotten the willies by something a scammer did, just before she was leaving my house to go meet this person to look at a studio she found on Craigslist. She showed me the string of text messages, and I told her to send him this text, “It just occurred to me that I should have asked you to provide documentation from the property/homeowner that you are authorized to act on their behalf?” Mind you, this scammer had been blowing up her phone with text messages all day, ensuring she was going to meet him, and to make sure she brought the $500 deposit in cash. She just didn’t know what warning signs to look for. I helped her avoid a couple more situations like this. Then these scammers started showing up on Zillow.

    So this new scammer I interacted with yesterday/today has at least one property listed on Craigslist under short-term/temp housing in West Seattle, on the waterfront. It’s described as a carriage house, and is listed for $1000/month inc. all utilities. Normally, that price would have set off red flags, but the large 8-lane bridge which is usually the primary way to access West Seattle (which is practically an island), was shut down last year due it being found in extremely dangerous condition, and in order to drive out of W Seattle, it’s a serious task and I can imagine has been adding at least 1.5 hours commuting time for people who work in the downtown Seattle or north of Seattle areas. Because of this, and the pandemic resurging with the delta variant in our area, I figured the homeowners may have lowered the monthly cost just to get someone in there. I sent an email with my phone number from my email account (vs through Craigslist which would hide my email address), and a few hours later got a text message that just said “Hello, This is me Jacob from Craigslist”. Ok, who is Jacob? There were no names in the listing, and how odd that someone would assume I had only responded to one listing? I asked, “For which listing are you referring to?” Then another strange response, “Thanks for your interest, the unit…for $1000/month. What’s your email address to send you all the necessary details about the property”. Another red flag, since he should have had my email address, as I explained above, and obviously he had read through it to find my phone number at the bottom. Also, I had responded to 3 listings that day which were all $1000/month, so I asked him again, which property, then a few minutes later decided to send my email address just to see what his version of the scam looked like. A couple hours later I looked at the email, and that’s when I became more suspicious, because it stated things like house cleaning every two weeks would be included, and to return the property booking request form to him with my payment information included because my “booking” wouldn’t be confirmed until payment was received. BLARING RED FLAG. I could see if this had been an inquiry I made through AirBNB, but it was for short-term housing and not a vacation rental. He did include the property address, so I was able to pull up the tax records to find out who the current owners are, no surprise, no one named Jacob. I didn’t even open the attachment because first he had to pass the next test, so I responded to his text message, “Can you please email me the appropriate documentation from the property owner stating that you are authorized to act as their representative on their behalf?” He responded, sure I will get that to you. That was late this morning, and it is now 9:21PM and haven’t received anything, or heard back at all. If he was a legitimate property manager, he would have had that immediately available. So just be aware everyone, even on other websites, con artists, aka scammers, are always evolving and becoming more sophisticated as soon as the public starts posting information online and comparing notes. NOTE: I had found a couple phone numbers online for the person listed on as the property owner on the county tax assessors website, and left voicemails explaining that I wanted to confirm that this person was acting upon their authorization. The owners just texted me back, confirming this guy is a scam artist, they have the carriage house listed on vrbo only.

    Here are the most important things that should happen before you hand any money over to anyone;
    1. Ask if they are the owner of the property, or AUTHORIZED to act on behalf of the owner, even with sublets…and get owner name(s), phone, mailing address and email address, and the exact rental property address, and of course a copy of the signed/dated authorization.
    2. Go to your county tax assessor’s website and look up the current owner by the address (a unit number is especially important if it is a condominium), and make sure it matches what’s on the authorization or the name of the person representing themselves as the owner. If anything looks suspicious, contact the owner directly.
    3. Don’t ever hand over cash. At least get a money order (so you have proof of payment) if you don’t have any other means (debit/credit card), and ALWAYS get a receipt stating what the funds were for and who you gave them to, and don’t hand over a penny until you have physically inspected the unit, did the steps above, and only pay an application fee when you submit the application. I’m going to going to go into more details that will further protect you further, so you know your basic rights and how to further protect yourself:
    4. Look up your State’s tenant-landlord laws for the legally allowed deposits/fees allowed (including the definitions between what a deposit and a fee are). In Washington, anything defined as a deposit on a pre-rental or rental agreement has to be deposited into a separate account from the landlord’s day to day business account (a Trust account). Reading through the actual legal codes can be tedious, so try to find a website from a local non-profit in your city/State that is easier to navigate.
    5. Look up the Federally required language that any application/form, etc., has to have stated if it used to collect your personally identifiable information and how your information will be used (Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Protection Act). There are 2 sets of language between credit and criminal history checks, and they have to be stated separately, so you should have to sign under each type of consent. If these aren’t included, the application isn’t legally compliant, and at a minimum, a major sign that your prospective landlord knows nothing about landlord-tenant and federal laws (which could make you miserable later on), and at the extreme, when there are other red flags, a scammer. Any property owner/manager will have to use a 3rd party to do their credit/criminal checks, and these agencies won’t even accept emails or forms that are missing these pieces, because they can be held criminally and civilly liable. If the application doesn’t meet the State and Federal requirements, just walk away.
    6. If you live in a State where it is legally allowed for a landlord/property manger to request a holding deposit (e.g., if they have high demand) while they process your application, they have to provide you a mutually signed agreement (contract) where a). if your application is denied, your deposit will be returned within so many days, in which form (usually a check), and where you want them to mail the refund, and b). if your application is accepted, how the holding deposit will be applied to the move-in costs in some other way. Both you and the landlord/property manager should sign the agreement…and for every agreement you submit/sign, etc., always get an original “wet-ink” copy, meaning contracts/agreements should be signed by both parties in duplicate, and check both copies before signing to make sure the important items like dollar amounts, dates, etc., all match up, and then you keep one set, and the landlord keeps another, this goes for lease/rental agreements too. Always bring a pad of paper with you, so if the other party doesn’t have a pre-prepared receipt or agreement, you can hand-write out the receipt/agreement, and take a picture of it with your phone so there isn’t a question as to when both parties signed it. Always get a receipt signed/dated by the person you hand over any payment to in person. If you send your payments through an online portal, print a copy of the transaction for your records. I had a tenant who would send me his rent payments via PayPal, and I still provided him with a written/signed receipt with the date I received the payment.

  17. Jason

    Another way I use, is I copy a couple of sentences and then Google them. Often you’ll see the same add in several different cities, word for word.

  18. Sandy

    2 replies about my inquiries, they answer my questions and then they want my personal email to communicate further.. I’m hesitant.. is there a valid reason for my email address or is this an alert to avoid.. may be a scam?

  19. Alexis

    I’ve run into a lot of these listed, and didn’t fall for them. Once I got the badly written e-mail, I quickly moved on. My rule is if they don’t give a phone number in the ad, it’s fake, move on. No legitimate renter wants to communicate only through e-mail.

    For the record, I actually DID personally know a missionary family that was renting their house out. They used a realtor to take care of all the business. AND, while the realtor handled everything from listing it to taking payments, the couple did take the time to at least meet the renters before leaving town. They even had dinner with them once before they left and even introduced them to some of the neighbors that they had known for years.

    So, that’s how a legitimate out-of-town landlord works.

    BUT, I ran into a NEW scam this week. It was a Craigslist ad for a house in an area that I knew of. It was a good deal. It wasn’t too good to be true, ($1,300/month, with a $1,000 deposit) but it was still a good deal so we were excited.

    There was a phone number in the ad, and so I called him. We talked for about 20 minutes, he was very heavily accented so it was hard to communicate, but he asked all the right questions. Who would be living there, and what our previous rental history looked like. He talked of deposit, and mentioned he would be doing criminal and background checks.

    It all sounded good. Because of the communication difficulty with his accent, we probably didn’t ask enough questions. We mainly just wanted to see the house. So, we arranged to go by there at all 11 am the next day. Red flags we should have picked up on but didn’t:

    1. He said we were the first to call. The ad had been up for 9 days, and it was a beautiful place, in a desirable neighborhood for a good (but not TOO good) price. How were we the first to even call?

    2. He then turned around and said it was “first-come first-served,” so we had to act quickly. He could hold the house until at least our appointment at 11 am the next day. So, now, there is a huge rush, when that ad has been sitting without so much as a single bite for 9 days?

    3. He talked to us for 20 minutes, and he didn’t even mention showing it, until I brought it up. If I hadn’t mentioned it, would he have offered?

    He said he wouldn’t be there, it was a self-tour. I know this is common post-COVID, so we didn’t think this was a big deal.

    3. He said he would send us an e-mail with the full details of how to get into the house without him there, so he wanted our full names and e-mail addresses. We gave him that by text, and we never got any e-mails. I texted him a couple of times asking about the e-mails, and didn’t get a response.

    4. The next day, he wanted us to call him when we were on our way. I thought this was strange, because if he wasn’t going to be there, what did it matter? It made me wonder if he was actually going to be there, so I texted him to ask that. He defensively texted back, “I told you I would be at my place of work.” I thought that was a little rude. But, whatever. So, we did call him as he had asked. That’s when things got weird.

    4. When we got there, there was a FOR LEASE sign in the yard for a realty company. We just figured that was the company he was also working with.

    There was a coded lock on the door, and we called him and told him we were at the door, and could he send us a code.

    5. He acted confused when we told him we were at the house, and he started talking in circles. We had to repeat ourselves several times. I’ve stayed at Airbnb’s that have locks like that, and it’s super easy to remotely reset the code from a computer. So, he could have just given us the current code, and reset it as soon we left.

    But, he said that he was going to send us a link to a website (Rently.com) where we’d have to register for a code. The link came, and the registration form asked me for my name and phone number, and to create a password. I did that, AND THEN…

    5. A WINDOW ON THE RENTLY REGISTRATION FORM POPPED UP. It asked, “Did you find this house on Craigslist or Facebook?” I clicked yes, and it said, “None of our houses are advertised on Facebook or Craigslist. You are dealing with a scammer.”

    I REALLY wanted the house, so I didn’t want to believe it, and as I was standing in the driveway, trying to figure out what to do about the notification, he called. I read him the notification. He got defensive and said that he had told me (he hadn’t), that he hadn’t been able to get a renter, so he took it upon himself to advertise on Craigslist.

    Then, he turned it around on me, and said that he had wanted me to stay on the phone with him while I registered so he could tell me how to get around that notification. He accused me of hanging up on him, (I didn’t. I told him I would call him back. The registration form asked for a phone number, and I couldn’t remember mine, because I had just gotten a new one. I didn’t want him breathing down my neck while I searched for my number).

    In the moment, I wanted the house bad enough that I would have liked to believe about the notification. But, now my phone was locked out of the app. He was now frustrated with me for supposedly hanging up on him, and so I apologized.

    So, he asked if my co-renter could sign up for the app. So, he sent her the link. She messed with the app and couldn’t get it to work for about 20 minutes.

    6. While we messed around with the app, we were also wandering around the yard, and looking in through the windows. The deck looked nicer than in the photos, and one of the rooms had had carpet, but in real life, now had beautiful wood floors. (Old photos).

    Our window peeking was making us more and more excited, and so we kept pushing on. The “landlord” now had my co-renter download the app from the app store, and try to register. It kept locking her out, and he would text her new links and he generated a password for her, none of which would work. He asked us what phone provider we had, because it should work. (again, rude).

    Finally, after about 40 minutes of sitting in the driveway trying to get in, and looking through the windows, and trying to get the app to work, we ran out of time. I told him, “The app clearly isn’t working. Can you just give us your code to unlock the door? I have to get to work soon.”

    He apologized and asked if we would come back after work. This wouldn’t work with our schedule, so eventually, we set an appointment for the next day. He said if we would come back tomorrow at 10 and he would make sure to be there and he would let us in.

    Disappointed, we left.

    My gut instinct was kicking in by now, so I took a photo of the sign in the yard. Then we went home. Once I got home, I looked up the website for the realtor advertised in the yard. I found the listing for the house, which was for $2,000 (He was advertising for $1,300, which made it a good deal, but not excellent).

    The listing did mention doing a self-guided tour through the Rently app. I clicked on the Rently app, and tried to put in our phone numbers, and it had us already in there, so I guess that part was legitimate. But, here’s the thing. There was a disclaimer at the bottom of the app that said:

    “**SCAM ALERT: This house does not advertise on Craigslist. If you found it on Craigslist, it is a scam.**

    Once I saw that, all the red flags I had been ignoring started to fall into place, and I was ready to accept that it was a scam. I called the actual realty company, and told them what had happened, and gave them his name and number, and flagged the ad on Craigslist.

    Interestingly enough, our appointment time for the next day came and went and I didn’t hear anything from him.

  20. Russell Goff

    I am looking for shared housing on Craigslist and I avoid (and flag) any ad that asks me to provide my phone number. These ads universally post one (and usually only one) “too good to be true” photo (lifted from another source), ask far below the going rate (often hundreds of dollars less), and often are far too friendly and personable (“good luck with your search,” “God bless,” heart and prayer emojis, etc etc etc). It’s a blatant attempt at identity theft and calling attention to the scam on Craigslist does no good because your own ad will be flagged in return and Craigslist won’t do anything about it anyway.

  21. Jaydee

    You need to provide me your information: full name (legal name that I will need for the lease agreement), mailing address (street, number, city and postal code) where you want to receive the keys and documents, cell phone number, move-in date and length of the lease agreement (e.g. 6 months or 1 year rental contract with option of renewal). The lease agreement will be a standard one from the Canadian government.
    – Avison Young will send you a notification(via email) with the transaction details and necessary documents for the rental agreement. According to the real estate laws from Canada they will also provide you with the terms and conditions of their company that you can accept or NOT in order to move forward with the payment process.
    – If you decide to move forward with the payment process you need to send the amount of 2700$ (first month of rent from contract -1800$ + damage deposit -900$ – refundable in the last month of rent from contract) following the payment instructions provided to you
    – Avison Young will check the payment confirmation and I will start the shipping procedure through UPS Air Cargo.
    – You will receive the package (keys, apartment documents and lease agreement) in 3-5 business days. After the keys will be delivered to your address you will have 5 business days (inspection time) to check the apartment. The inspection time will start from the moment you will be at the building.
    – If you decide to keep the apartment you just need to sign the lease agreement and send a copy of the lease agreement with your signature to Avison Young. If you don’t want to keep the apartment you will receive a full payment refund including any payment fee.

    I NEED TO BE SURE THAT EVERYTHING IS CLEAR FOR YOU SO PLEASE READ CAREFULLY ALL THE STEPS OF THE TRANSACTION BECAUSE I CAN NOT CHANGE THEIR TERMS AND CONDITIONS. ALSO I WILL PAY FOR THE COMMISSION AND DELIVERY FEES AND JUST IN CASE YOU HAVE SECOND THOUGHTS AFTER YOU AGREE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FROM AVISON YOUNG. I WILL NOT RECEIVE A REFUND FROM AVISON YOUNG!
    PLEASE NOTE THAT THE AMOUNT YOU WILL SEND TO AVISON YOUNG IS A GUARANTEE DEPOSIT THAT YOU HAVE THE FUNDS AVAILABLE AND IT CAN NOT BE RELEASED WITHOUT YOUR APPROVAL. I CAN RECEIVE THE FUNDS JUST AFTER AVISON YOUNG WILL RECEIVE A COPY OF THE LEASE AGREEMENT WITH YOUR SIGNATURE.

  22. Jaydee

    He even called me to tell me that his wife and he had decided they decided to rent it to us, only to send me this after…

  23. Brianna

    I thought it was too good to be true, and it was.

    Thanks to your email,I have decided to rent the house because we are going to spend more time here in (NEW MEXICO) my family and I will be here for about 5-6 years due to the nature of my job. Let me start by introducing myself, I am EVANGELIST MAXWELL and I must confess I am very new in this landlord business. However, I own the house located at (2611 Granite Way, Sacramento, CA 95821)Home, the initial plan was to sell the house but sometimes the Realtor inflates the price and it takes longer to sell, because of this reason we have decided to rent out the house to a responsible tenant that can take very good care of the property as we are not after the money, we want it to be clean and tidy at all time. Pets are allowed as long as they are not destructive. The rent is $910 and security deposit is $1,700 and a pet deposit of $300 and move in to the home asap, free to text me here (575) 286-4212 i will be happy to get back to you anytime and i also check my email often so feel free to contact me via email or text message for any further inquiries.You can drive-by to view the outside and neighborhood of the house and get back to me asap.

    DETAILS ABOUT THE HOUSE.
    ADDRESS: (2611 Granite Way, Sacramento, CA 95821)
    Number of bedrooms:2
    Number of bathrooms:1
    Rental price: $910 per month and security Deposit is $1,700 (Security Deposit is Refundable) Utilities included in monthly rent Pets Welcome.

    ****RENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE*****

    If you are really interested in renting my home then answer the rental application questions below.
    Name (First name/ Middle name/Surname ) : __________?
    Phone numbers (home,cell and office line ) # :__________?
    Email Address :___________?
    Picture of yourself if possible :_________?
    Drivers License/State ID :___________?
    Marital Status:__________?
    How many proposed occupants :__________?
    List all in addition to yourself including approx age :__________?
    Present Address :__________?
    Will you have pets :__________?
    Please describe Breed, size :__________?
    Personality of pet :__________?
    Preferred move in date :__________?
    Intended length of lease:__________?
    Do you agree to pay the payment before you move in:__________?
    If you are asked to make a down payment to secure the house and take it off the market today, How much will you be able to pay:__________?
    Length of previous tenancy :__________?
    Present occupation :__________?
    Are you a section 8 applicant? Do you work late night :__________?
    Do you smoke :__________?
    Do you drink :__________?
    Credit Score :__________?
    Monthly Income :__________?

    I ___________________, CERTIFY that answers given herein are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I authorize investigation of all statements contained in this application for tenant screening as may be necessary in arriving at a tenant decision. I understand that the landlord may terminate any rental agreement entered into for any misrepresentation made above.I will be looking forward to hearing back from you with all this detail, so that i can have them in my file in case of issuing your rent payment receipt to you and for contacting you. Your quick response will be highly appreciated, so that we can discuss on how to get the documents and the keys of my property to you via Express Delivery Services.free to text me here (575) 286-4212 i will be happy to get back to you anytime

    EVANGELIST, MAXWELL BARNUM

  24. Rey D

    Reagan Tate at evengoodblakeley126@gmail.com is a Craigslist SCAMMER. WATCH OUT!

    Jessy at twork0692@gmail.com, is a Craigslist SCAMMER. WATCH OUT!

    LIST OF FAKE NAMED SCAMMERS ON CRAIGSLIST:
    Anne Dixson
    Jordan Harrington
    I will post more as I find them.

    One IMPORTANT TIP:
    These SCAMMERS WONT call you. They ONLY TEXT you. Big Red Flag!! They will not answer their phone numbers or emails. You only get voice-mail that is NEVER returned. They ask for up front Application fees and promise to then send you an address. Many provide an Address, but it’s NOT their property or Owner does NOT know who these names or people are.

    If they can’t CALL you, ITS A SCAM! If they WONT meet you at the Rental property to verify who they are, ITS A SCAM.

    One Great way to verify criminals, ask for their Drivers License or State ID. Big time criminals won’t create fake IDs to steal Application fees less than $30 – $50. So, an honest manager or landlord will verify who they work for or show you a valid State ID.

    Craigslist and PayPal will shut down Criminal Activity and Schemes. REPORT FAKE ADS. Give PayPal and Craigslist and any other form of online payment method Companies, like Zelle, their names and phone numbers and emails they use. Like the Author of this article said, let’s all be safe and help each other by weeding out FAKE ADS and Schemes to steal money.
    Don’t give a dime, until you can verify who people are. Rental Agencies can be found online. Private Owner’s property information can be found with Public Records with your Local County Records. Many of Government websites. Is sad that these SCAMMERS make it hard for honest home owners who want to rent their rooms online. Wish online sites would require background checks and a fee that owners and landlords could get back once their rooms or homes are rented. This would eliminate SCAMS.