With rent prices rising, many renters are turning to sites like Craigslist to find a deal. But while some fake ads can be spotted a mile away, others may be harder to catch.
These types of scams pop up now and then, especially when prices and demand are high. Here are some tips for renters.
Some of the most common "fake ads" involve real ads that are 'hijacked' -- that's when scammers take an actual rental listing and swap out the contact information for their own. The others involve ads for places that aren't for rent or don't exist. Renters should always do their homework when renting an apartment in Lynchburg, VA.
Tenants should also start by researching the average rates for comparable rentals in the area. If the apartment or home you're interested in is listed for a lot cheaper, that's reason to be suspicious. Other big red flags to keep in mind when renting are:
Phantom Phone Numbers
Most legit rental ads will not only have a website or an email address where you can reach out to the landlord, but they'll also list a phone number so that you can talk to him or her. Often, fake ads will either have no phone contact or a number that doesn't work.
Believe it or not, many fake rental ads also list owners who are "out of the country". Typically scammers will tell you they can't meet you because they are overseas but they have a "lawyer" or "agent" who will send you the keys. Of course, don't send any money to them overseas.
Check it Out
If you can't visit an apartment or house yourself, send a friend or family member to check it out for you and make sure that it is what's advertised.