rent craigslist scam rentalRental scams are still haunting consumers -- targeting renter and landlord alike -- and giving rise to new warnings, especially for those using the free classified site Craigslist.

The Better Business Bureau is reporting an increase in complaints about rental scams and suggests those on both sides of the lease should be careful.In Omaha, a woman who wanted to rent an apartment placed an ad on Craigslist. When she got a response saying that the apartment was perfect and the person would pay whatever security deposit she wanted, red flags went up.

Be skeptical whenever someone offers more than what was even asked of them. It often is an attempt to try to loosen defenses to draw money from the target.

There's another common scam in which con artists use pictures of houses for sale, posts them on Craigslist and asks for first and last month's rent.

When the would-be tenant checks out the house online and sends their deposit -- that money disappears and so does the rental.

BBB officials say that if the offer is too easy -- they'll pay whatever security deposit you want, and don't need to see the house, that's a red flag.

It's also a warning sign if the rent seems way too low, or if the landlord wants the money wired without showing you the house.

One quick way to make sure the place is legit is by Googling the address. If it shows up as a "for sale" home, there could be a problem.

For other tips, check out the Federal Trade Commission, which investigates online scams. Also check out AOL Real Estate's stories Avoid a Craigslist Rental Scam and Online Rental Scams to Avoid.

Become a fan of Consumer Ally on Facebook.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Understanding Credit Scores

Credit scores matter -- learn how to improve your score.

View Course »

Getting out of debt

Everyone hates debt. Get out of it.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

1 Comment

Filter by:
Kristin

Most people don't realize that this affects the landlords too. I had one of my apartments used in a scam, one that was actually for rent. You can image my surprise when a guy shows up and cusses me out because his key doesn't work in an apartment that is currently vacant.

Its not exactly an easy situation for the landlord. Often times the rent is quite a bit lower then what it should be. Not to mention that scammers don't exactly care who they get their money from since their not actually renting.

The guy that showed up had bad credit when I ran his report through http://www.tenantverification.com/. Couldn't pay the actual price of the rent. No deposit, bad credit and not enough income. What am I suppose to do? The guy is to high a risk a tenant and I depend on rent to pay my bills.

I didn't scam him. Nor did I fall for a scam for an apartment that is ridiculously too low for the area. And yet some how I'm the bad guy. Then of course there is the lovely chat with the cops after the guy got done screaming at me and called them. You can image my surprise when a guy shows up and cusses me out because he key doesn't work in an apartment that is currently vacant.

Its not exactly an easy situation for the landlord. Often times the rent is quite a bit lower then what it should be. Not to mention that scammers don't exactly care who they get their money from since their not actually renting.

The guy that showed up had bad credit when I ran his report through http://www.tenantverification.com/. Couldn't pay the actual price of the rent. No deposit, bad credit and not enough income. What am I suppose to do? The guy is to high a risk a tenant and I depend on rent to pay my bills.

I didn't scam him. Nor did I fall for a scam for an apartment that is ridiculously too low for the area. And yet some how I'm the bad guy. Then of course there is the lovely chat with the cops after the guy got done screaming at me and called them.

January 11 2012 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply