Denver Real Estate Report

If It's To Good to Be True, It's Probably Not True!

Today I received two calls to rent a property I have for sale.  The property is being advertised FOR SALE in many places, including Craigslist.

I informed the first caller that the property was for sale not rent.  I hung up assuming he made a simple mistake in reading the ad wrong.  It happens all the time.

The second call came several hours later, from the sound of her voice it was a young female who was a tad agitated.  She wanted to know why she found my listing for rent for $800 and for sale.  I calmly informed her the property was for sale and NOT for rent.  I don't know why she's finding it for rent as this was not true.

We hung up.

Then it hit me, like a ton of bricks.  She probably wasn't crazy, she was  finding this property For Rent, only trouble it wasn't a legit rental.  It's a scammer.

Rental scam these days are quite common.  In fact it's been a problem for Craig's List for a long time.  Guess there must be some trusting, gullible people who are willing to wire their money to faraway lands, just because they are told to do so.

If you Google search for Craigslist Scam you will find in part the following information:

You can sidestep would-be scammers by following these common-sense rules:

  • DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on craigslist.
  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
  • FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.
  • CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer "buyer protection" or "seller certification"
  • NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
  • AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL "GUARANTEE" YOUR TRANSACTION.

Renters please pay attention.  Only you can protect yourself.  Use some  common sense, don't blindly trust people, research the property, be sure you are dealing with the owner or a  representative of the owner.

Consider this a public announcement, pass it on, spread the word.  Have experience with similar issues?  Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you.

OH! If you know anyone who wants to BUY a great house, here's a very cool one to look at!