Housing Scam Uses Craigslist As Tool
Renters Offered Great Deals On Renting Homes
ORLANDO, Fla. — A scam in Central Florida involving a popular Web site attempts to prey on individuals who are looking for affordable housing. Scam artists are using Craigslist.org to place ads for homes to rent using the same name as the actual renter but a different e-mail address. The ad promises quality homes at an inexpensive price, but the person posting the ad does not own the home, which may be occupied by legitimate renters. _______________
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.
Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?
- FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
- FTC online complaint form (http://www.ftc.gov)
- Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
- Internet Fraud Complaint Center (http://www.ic3.gov)
- Non-emergency number for your local police department.
If you suspect that an item posted for sale on craigslist may be part of a scam, please email the details to “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Be sure to include the URL (or eight-digit post ID number) in your message.
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