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Old 06-01-2011, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Englewood,FL
493 posts, read 1,306,205 times
Reputation: 133

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We are currently looking at rental homes in the North Port, Port Charlotte, Venice area and have used Craigslist as one source to find temporary housing until we settle on a permanent area for living. Until last week we had not had a bad experience with Craigslist, then after two days of emails with what seemed to be a very nice possibility on a rental home turned out to be a fraud and a scam. Two days after that, I discovered yet another scam of the same overall context and premise on Sarasota Craigslist.

Bottom line, both were asking for money before my wife and I actually could view the property in person. The key was both were people in Africa, both were supposedly missionaries, both were supposedly US citizens. Both were scams, and the consistent clue and common thread to each is that there is no contact phone, and the email is eg; joeblow@yahoo.com. We gave these folks no personal info as they had asked for, and contacted them by email only with questions until it became obvious they were trying to scam us. We turned them into Craigslist as scams and advised them we were doing so.

Just wanted to share this with anyone that is looking on Craigslist for places to live in SWFL. Also that they should take the Craigslist disclaimer for fact and heed the warning displayed prior to looking for rentals or homes for sale and always beware of these kind of situations. We could have easily been taken for several hundred dollars had we trusted them and done as they had asked.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,643 posts, read 9,639,004 times
Reputation: 6861
That's one of the reasons I don't like Craigslist. It's too wide open and there's no vetting of anyone who uses it. Basically, all of the warning signs you mentioned are typical but the real tip off is asking you for money upfront. There are way too many weasels in this world.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,405,414 times
Reputation: 2853
Fox-A few days after we unraveled the whole Craigslist scam I had someone contact me about one of my personal rentals. Same kind of BS scam.

I'm guessing that some people must fall for it or they wouldn't waste their time doing it.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Over There
402 posts, read 1,343,837 times
Reputation: 778
Exclamation Meet your landlord or at least the Property Manager in person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxrivman1 View Post
. . . it became obvious they were trying to scam us. We turned them into Craigslist as scams and advised them we were doing so. . . .)

I'm glad that you didn't fall for it.

Never rent from someone that you cannot meet in person.
What if you need to have a busted pipe fixed? Who are you going to call?

Property Management companies or realtors might be able to steer you towards legit homes for rent. I figure that if they are paying someone to manage their properties, then they are probably legit.

You have to watch out for people who try to rent out foreclosed properties too.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:03 AM
 
279 posts, read 469,551 times
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Yeah there were two home in the Tampa area and they both had this message. Bothe were missionary and had jobs in Africa and lived in Poland. I emailed him back with a nasty message.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Englewood,FL
493 posts, read 1,306,205 times
Reputation: 133
Default comment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Time View Post
I'm glad that you didn't fall for it.

Never rent from someone that you cannot meet in person.
What if you need to have a busted pipe fixed? Who are you going to call?

Property Management companies or realtors might be able to steer you towards legit homes for rent. I figure that if they are paying someone to manage their properties, then they are probably legit.

You have to watch out for people who try to rent out foreclosed properties too.

Agree, we posed the question, who in the area can we contact to meet with and show us the home. Then they asked for a deposit to view the home. Keys and docs would be sent via FedEx. Yeah, right!

First question I asked of this scammer was, is the house in foreclosure? Thanks to info from SoFlGaL we checked on whether the home was listed in Sarasota County as a foreclosure. It wasn't, and the crazy part was this guy was using a phony email with the real owners name with a yahoo.com address! Completely bogus!
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Englewood,FL
493 posts, read 1,306,205 times
Reputation: 133
Default Scam

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFLGal View Post
Fox-A few days after we unraveled the whole Craigslist scam I had someone contact me about one of my personal rentals. Same kind of BS scam.

I'm guessing that some people must fall for it or they wouldn't waste their time doing it.

Like I said when we were talking about this the other day, this kind of BS could be and most probably is taking place all over the US right now as we speak because there are plenty of unsuspecting, trusting folks who would be sucked into to these scams without questioning the authenticity of the posters!

My wife usually says that I'm too negative sometimes and too skeptical, guess what, she didn't this time!!
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,643 posts, read 9,639,004 times
Reputation: 6861
I once had a house on the water in Bradenton for sale and started getting phone calls from people who wanted to know about renting it. It's not unusual to have someone call off a For Sale sign to ask if the seller would consider selling so, at first, I didn't question it. By the 4th or 5th call, I started asking questions and found out that the scammer was using the property details from Realtor.com or one of the many other websites our listings go to and, essentially, they were hijacking the listing. If I recall, it was almost exactly the same scenario (Africa, missionary, FedEx, etc.) and the tenants were suspicious so they were driving over to the property to see what they could find, saw my name and number on the sign, and called. The odd thing was it wasn't until the 4th or 5th call that anyone mentioned the scam.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,643 posts, read 9,639,004 times
Reputation: 6861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxrivman1 View Post
Like I said when we were talking about this the other day, this kind of BS could be and most probably is taking place all over the US right now as we speak because there are plenty of unsuspecting, trusting folks who would be sucked into to these scams without questioning the authenticity of the posters!
My daughter works for a large medical group in Atlanta and last week started getting calls from people who were calling about "their" ad in the employment section of the paper. There was no ad or job in reality...some scammer was using their name and having applicants call his 800 number where they'd receive a recorded message telling them that they should send him $200 for the software to do the medical billing at home for the company my daughter works for. Fortunately, some were smart enough to smell a rat. The company notified the local news who did a story on it.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,405,414 times
Reputation: 2853
On the scam Fox is speaking of the scammer must have taken the pictures for the CL ad right off of Realtor.com. The person sounded pretty legit and had all of the right answers until he requested money before Fox even saw the inside of the home.
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