Here’s a clever little scam.
Every day, thousands of people search Craigslist for rental apartments. There’s bound to be a scam or two out there.
This is just the case with the post I was forwarded earlier today.
The post, the pictures and the price all appear to be too good to be true.
There’s no location, though – weird?
After emailing the address in the post, you receive an email back from a different email address, containing the following
<your name here>,
Thank you for your interest in our home for rent.
The property we have that’s currently vacant today is a 1 bedroom 1.0 bath with garage in an amazing area. The rental has a full size washer and dryer.
There have not been any pets in the home so there are no smells, stains or odors. The home is pet friendly with no breed restrictions, we do not charge a fee or require a deposit but if your pet damages the property you are responsible for repairs.
To rent our property we require the following:
1. A valid Driver’s License or Photo ID
2. The 1st months rent
3. Completed background check for each applicant
4. Rental Agreement (month to month, 6 months or 1 year), I will bring it to the viewing
You can complete the background check online using Rental Verified: link.
This is an affordable way for me to screen applicants based on previous addresses and job history. If you have a felony or bad rental history, I’m flexible and I will help you out.
This property rents quickly, contact me when you’ve completed your background check and are ready to schedule a viewing. It’s in a .pdf, you can print it and bring to the viewing or email it to me.
What is the best contact number for you? Are you available tomorrow?
I will be available tomorrow, Saturday morning.
This is now suspiciously good, right?
The “link” under section 4 (removed, with a strike-through) sends the prospective renter, via a domain forwarding service (to track click-throughs) to RentalVerified.com, where anyone not smart enough to realize would have to pay a monthly subscription to be deemed suitable to rent to. (?!)
It gets better though, the scammer makes money off your subscription, if they’re not making money on the fact that you just clicked the link – note the web address: “https://rentalverified.com/pricing?i=297533”. Address formatting like this (?i=297533) is usually indicative of an affiliate or link tracking of some sort.
If it’s too good to be true, it usually is. Be sensible and aware of scams like this online.
Follow the simply rules on Craigslist to avoid being scammed: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams
If you’re looking to rent, you shouldn’t be asked to verify yourself right off the bat like this.
If you’re not sure about a possible scam, ask us here at Techburgh and we’ll take a look or ask your local Police Department.
Author: Andy Quayle
Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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