The internet can be a wonderful source of real estate information, and can offer rental opportunities which may connect potential tenants with landlords.
That being said, unfortunately, one must be alert and aware of rental scams!!!
There are con men all over the internet, just sitting in place, waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers, and steal their hard-earned money.
These scammers use real photos hijacked from real listings, and create fake listings by adding rental prices that are really low - they seem too good to be true, because they are NOT true!That's the first red flag.....
2nd red flag is....... they give you some creative story as to why they cannot show you the home in person (they are often missionaries, out of the country, doing "God's" work!). Some actually tell the potential tenant to go and "peek in the windows"! They may ask you to fill out an online "application" where they ask for personal information. Don't do it!
All of these steps listed above should be warning signs, but unfortunately, the low rental price is the hook that makes some people feel their dreams have come true, when truthfully, a nightmare make be coming true instead!
3rd red flag, and the one that should make anyone stop and wonder................they ask you towire money for the keys!
If that happens, run in the opposite direction!
Don't be lulled into thinking websites verify these listings. It's impossible for any website to monitor or check on all the listings posted......there are a huge number of scam listings on Craigslist, too. So, one has to be careful, and, if something doesn't seem right....go with your hunches.!!!!
When in doubt, and if something just seems "off", I advise calling a local agent, and have them verify (they can check the tax records) that you're dealing with the legitimate owner.
Good luck, and be safe!