Many who turn to Cragslist to find affordable rental apartments, according to the Better Business Bureau, expose themselves to the risk of being caught in scams. Alleged rental agents may just be after a prospective renter's personal and financial information.
Perpetrators of these scams may be located anywhere, but tend to use the same methods, the BBB states. Rental properties priced far lower than comparable options in the area are a common giveaway. Another tactic used to build a false advertisement is to steal photos from legitimate ads, home websites and home furnishing catalogues.
Legitimate landlords ask to examine a renters credit rating, whereas some scammers may not care, according to the BBB. Email addresses used for scams are generally from Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and similar widely used and easily available providers.
Fake landlords usually ask potential renters to wire money, whether for a security deposit, month's rent or another fee or cost. Wired money is extremely difficult to track or retrieve, and is among the strongest signs of a scam, the Better Business Bureau warns.