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The Craigslist Rental Scam

November 8, 2010 by  

So you’ve been searching on Craigslist for that perfect home to rent and the best possible when all of a sudden you see it.  The perfect home, not to mention that the price is about 1/2 of what you budgeted to spend.  Is it too good to be true?  It probably is.

Here’s one of the most common examples….

The search criteria

The listing…

Sounds too good to be true, doesnt it?  All the scammers did was copy the content of the real estate listing on HomeTryst….

So, I emailed them to see what would happen if I inquired about renting the home for my “family and I.”  Here’s what they responded with…


I can see you are interested in the ad I have posted, I am currently in Spain with my family where we work as a volunteer with the Missionary, here is the site for more details about why we are here in Spain.we spent less time in the States so we could not get a hold on any Realtor to handle this rent issue, although it was when we knew how long we are going to stay in Spain that we decided to rent out the house. However, the initial plan was to sell out the house. which we tried, but sometimes the agents inflates the price and it takes longer to sell we are telling you this in case you find the house on another website, that is the old advert So we need a tenant to take care of it but since  we are out of the state now, we have received some proposals regarding the rent because it is located in a very good area of Herndon, but we still have to make sure it is rented out to someone who can take good care of it.The keys to the House are right here with me and i could send it to you after all necessary agreement has be accepted by my family,It includes facilities such as water and heat laundry facilities, air condition, internet and telephone access and a car park and other necessary facilities, also comes with trash collection, pets are allowed as well as long as they are not destructive,we also want you to let us have trust in you as we always stand on our word.So if you know you are capable of the task,It is available for a  long lease.The monthly rental fee is $1600 per month including the utilities and the security deposit is $1600 which is refundable back to you at the end of your stay if nothing is damaged from my properties.It is not the money that is the main problem  but we want you to keep it tidy all the time so that we will be glad  to see it neat when we come for a check up.You will only be able to drive by the house for now but not have a look at the interior until we have sent the keys and documents of the house to you.So we wouldn’t want any violation on our property if finally rented by you.Please if you are ready now to occupy the house kindly provide the information below for record purpose



Full Name__________________________ ________________________
Home Phone (        ) ________________________
Date of Birth_________________________ ________
Other Phone (       ) ___________________
Current Address_______________________ ________Apt#________ City__________________ State______ Zip________
Reasons for Leaving_______________________ _____Rent $__________
Phone (       ) ____________________________
Are you married_______________________ _____
How many people will be living in the house_________________________ ___
Do you have a pet___________________________ _
Do you have a car___________________________ _
Occupation____________________ ________
Move In Date__________________________ __

House Address
12416 Willow Falls Drive, Herndon VA 20170

Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that we can  have it in my file in case of issuing the receipt and contacting you. Await your reply so we can discuss on how to get the document and  the key to you.Please Note that your rent only starts counting after you have finally moved into thehouse,so you need not to worry about making the deposit payment now and not moving in immediately,all you’re doing is securing the house in your favor in order not to loose it to other interested applicants..

Hope to read from you soonest…
Thanks so much.

So…if it sounds TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE it probably is.

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