If you’ve ever searched for a rental on Craigslist, you’ve probably come across some interesting offers. Who would think there were so many Nigerian Prince’s needing your help, right? What’s even more baffling than all of these royals needing your money is the number of people who actually fall for it and send the money! How do they not know this is a scam!? Here are a few tips to avoid a rental scam.
1) Excessive misspellings and improper placement of punctuation. This is a dead give away for a scam. You have to give them credit for trying. There is an obvious communication barrier that leads to unnecessary greetings and salutations, (i.e. Dear Sir/Madame) misuse of capitalization, (i.e. plethora of lower-cased letters) and goofy punctuation in most scam emails.
2) They can not personally meet with you. Shocker! That’s because they are somewhere in the Congo! If they can not meet with you personally, be very leery. Any legitimate landlord or property manager will be more than willing to give you a walk-through of the rental. If they aren’t available to do that, find someone with a rental who will.
3) If they want you to wire money, it’s a scam. A genuine transaction would require you to meet with the landlord or property manager to place your security deposit on the property and be given a copy of the certified funds or some sort of receipt.
Hopefully, with keeping a few of these tips in mind you will recognize the red flags and steer clear of such scams. If you’re looking for a real rental, you might want to check out Real Property Management Midwest. No Prince’s. Just real people who are keeping it real in the real estate industry.