Looking for a rental in Mansfield, Ohio? Beware of Craigslist Scams!
Thursday May 09th, 2019Share
PSA: Beware of Rental Scam on Craigslist!
There is currently a very scary rental scam happening right now in Mansfield, Ohio. If you are looking for a home for rent - read this first!! As a local realtor, I am very connected in our community and I felt compelled to write this post because I have personally received at least 10+ calls just this week from very nice people who almost fell for this horrible scam.
What do I need to know?
Craigslist.org is a popular website where people can post items for sale, rent or trade - relatively quickly and easily - and for free. This can be a great tool, except the ease of use and the fact that it is free to post makes Craigslist a prime target for fraudulent activity.
What is happening now is that criminals are fraudulently posting homes for rent on Craiglist that aren't really for rent!
Here is how it works.
Scammers are visiting home search websites like Realtor.com and Zillow.com and are stealing photos and descriptions of homes that are actually for sale.
Then, they are taking those photos and descriptions and fraudulently posting them as "Homes for Rent" on Craigslist.
When an unsuspecting person who is looking for a home for rent responds to the "ad" they are told nothing but lies in attempts to get them to mail or wire money for a fraudulent deposit or first months rent.
These are total scams and are in no way affiliated with the home owners or the real estate companies advertising the homes for sale.
What can I do?
Because these scammers seem to be targeting our area very heavily right now - I would recommend not using Craigslist at all in regards to searching for homes for rent. Its honestly just too risky!
There are a lot of other great options if you are looking for a home for rent. Many landlords in our area advertise right at the house or apartment with a "For Rent" sign and a phone number. There are also websites like Apartments.com that require companies to pay to post. Finally, Facebook marketplace is another option.
Whatever vehicle you use to search for a home for rent in Mansfield, Ohio - please use caution and remember the old adage - if it seems too good to be true it probably is.
How can I help?
Craigslist does offer an option at the top of every post to flag it or mark it as Prohibited. If you become aware of a scam - please mark it as prohibited! This does seem to help in Craigslist taking these types of posts down.
If you are aware of a scam or have been a victim - I did find several options to make a complaint with the FTC or the Ohio Attorney General. Craigslist lists these options here: https://www.craigslist.org/about/scams
Please share this information with your friends so we can try to save anyone from being a victim of this rental scam!