Tagged: Rentals Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 9:11 am on June 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Rentals, threats   

    Craigslist scammer pulls gun on victim 

    Craigslist scammer pulls gun on victim

    We’ve written about home rental scams on craigslist many times before. For those of you who may not be familiar with them, a scammer will typically post an ad on craigslist renting a property they don’t actually own. They do this in order to collect fees up front for either rent or some kind of deposit. In the past people have even moved into properties they thought they had rented only to find out they’ve been had. While many of these scammers are located overseas, there are plenty of domestic scammers as well.

    In Pueblo, Colorado, one particular scammer has been arrested after allegedly physically threatening his victims and even brandishing a gun at one point. Police say that this particular con man tried renting the same property to five different families in Pueblo. Some of these families even had some of their possessions moved in only to find themselves locked out of the property and their belongings were gone. When one of the victims confronted the accused scammer, the scammer was said to have pulled a gun on the victim. Another victim claims that the scammer threatened to burn the property down while the victims were trying to live in it. The scammer was able to collect at least $4,000 from his victims.

    While scammers don’t usually tend to be this violent there is always that possibility. Due to the proliferation of these types of scams on craigslist and craigslist’s unwillingness to moderate their ads, almost every rental ad on craigslist should be seen as suspect. The housing crisis in this country is bad enough for many families without having to deal with criminals like this. The best way to avoid scams like this is to check with your county appraiser’s website or office to see if the property is actually available for rent.

     
  • Geebo 9:59 am on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Rentals   

    Rental scam continues to claim victims 

    Rental scam continues to claim victims

    Normally, we only post about online scams when either a new one turns up or there’s a new twist on an old scam. Unfortunately, consumers are still falling for one of the oldest online scams in the virtual book. So we thought we’d take another look at the old standby, the rental scam.

    For those who may not know, the rental scam works like this. The scammer will find a house for sale, usually on the site of a reputable realtor. They’ll then copy that ad then change it from a property being for sale to one that’s for rent. They’ll then follow this up by posting their fake ad on an unmodertaed classifieds site like craigslist. The rent will also be listed at below market values. When a consumer responds to the ad, the scammer will try to collect some kind of upfront fee, usually disguised as a rental application fee or some kind of deposit. Usually, the scammers will make some kind of excuse as to why they can’t show you the home while still asking you for money. These scams are usually designed to prey on those who are desperate to resolve a housing situation crisis in their lives.

    Recently, in Memphis, Tennessee, a scammer was able to con several people out of hundreds of dollars each for a property they did not own. The alleged scammer was said to have used the very same tactics we posted above. This is not an uncommon occurrence as it happens all over the country all the time. For example, here’s a similar report out of the Tampa, Florida area.

    In order to avoid these scams we first recommend not using unmoderated classifieds site as they’re not reviewing ads for possible fraud. Secondly, if the rent seems too good to be true it probably is. Don’t ever give money to someone without being able to walk through the property. If the seller claims to be out of the area, pass on the property. Always check with the county appraiser’s website or office to see if the property is actually available for rent. Lastly, you may not be looking for a rental property, but if someone you know is, please share this post and this blog with them in order to help educate them about this prevalent scam.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on June 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Denver, Rentals,   

    Denver man takes on rental scammers 

    Denver man takes on rental scammers

    If you’re looking for a property to rent online, and you come in contact with an obvious scammer, we don’t recommend engaging with them. Any actual information they can get out of you can be used for their gain. Instead, if you really want to help prevent the activity of these scammers, we recommend contacting the Internet Crime Complaint Center. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate someone who wastes a scammer’s time in the same way they like to waste ours. A man in Denver was looking for an apartment on a certain disreputable classifieds site when he was contacted by a slew of scammers. Here’s how the rental scam usually works.

    In Denver, the scammers kept asking the man for a picture of a check written out for a phony deposit. The Denver man kept sending the scammers e-mails with no attachments, links to URLs that went nowhere, and a picture of broken image error message. It was a number of back and forth e-mails before the scammers realized they were being trolled.

    While this man recognized the red flags that led him to realize there were scammers afoot, not everyone does. Just as a reminder, if a rental price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If a ‘landlord’ wants you to send money without letting you view the property, it’s probably a scam. If they ask you to wire money to them or send money using prepaid credit cards or gift cards, it’s most definitely a scam. Education is the key. If more people are aware of these scams, less people will fall for them and that will begin to drive the scammers out of business.

     
  • Geebo 7:04 am on May 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Rentals,   

    Don’t be left broke and homeless when looking for a place to rent 

    Don't be left broke and homeless when looking for a place to rent

    One of the oldest online commerce scams is the rental property scam. How it works is the scam artist will usually copy a legitimate ad for a house for sale but will make it appear in their ad that the property is for rent, usually at a rate that is almost too good to be true. Some red flags when it comes these ads is that the ‘seller’ will claim that their getting ready to go overseas, or for some reason they won’t be able to meet you face to face. They’ll also try to pressure you into paying a deposit without inspecting the property. In most cases they’ll try to do that through poorly spelled emails or emails where it’s apparent that they may not be native English speakers.

    However there’s an easier way to avoid having the scam go this far. Most legitimate rental properties should be listed with the county or municipality their being rented in. The owner’s contact information should be a matter of public record and if it doesn’t match with what you’re being told or if the property is not listed at all then it’s more than likely a scam.

    Too many families have been left without a home or money falling for these types of scams. With just a little bit of knowledge you can avoid being taken online.

     
  • Greg Collier 2:30 pm on April 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Eviction, Rent Control, Rent Ordinances, Rentals,   

    Risky Business: Watch for Business Models that Boost the Bottom Line but Tarnish the Reputation 

    When Terms & Agreements Don’t Mesh with Local LawsThere’s an interesting debate going on in San Francisco with Airbnb, where a crackdown on short-term rentals – especially those being advertised on online sites like Airbnb – are leading to lease violations and eviction notices.

    The site, Airbnb, connects people looking to make a few bucks by renting out space in their own homes with visitors who are looking to save a few bucks by using alternative accommodations when they pop into a city for a short visit.

    It’s kind of like they’re hotel rooms, except that they’re not. They’re residential homes and apartments. And in San Francisco, the two – residential units and hotel rooms – are not allowed to mix, by law. In a city with tight housing and even tighter rental laws, the crackdown is sending some otherwise law-abiding citizens to the streets, evicted for letting a stranger crash on the couch every now and then.

    It’s an unfortunate story, though it appears that the city and Airbnb are working together to provide some better clarity around the ordinances, including a hotel tax on Airbnb transactions, which will certainly change the dynamic of the debate down the road. That may not change things for those affected – but at least it recognizes the problem. And that’s a start.

    In the meantime, at least one lawyer has raised the question about Airbnb’s share of responsibility in what’s happening to its customers during this crackdown. Is it the responsibility of Airbnb to provide each person who submits a listing with a notice of all laws and regulations – whether local, statewide or national? Or is it enough to remind people to check their local laws and leases before renting the spare room for a weekend?

    It’s a question that the company has faced before. A few years ago, I chimed in about some growing pains that Airbnb was experiencing as it was dealing with reports of people who were trashing rental units. The company rode that storm nicely and went on to see some amazing growth, with listings now expanding in Europe and investors suggesting a $10 billion valuation, bigger than some hotel chains.

    Airbnb, a site much like Geebo in that it connects two parties with a common interest, should have a responsibility to inform people of the risks they are about to engage in and, in some certain circumstances, take extra steps to ensure that people are compliant with the law.

    Geebo is a site with listings from cities across the nation across a wide range of categories. For the site to specify each of the laws and ordinances for each of the cities and each of the categories of products or services is unrealistic. In that sense, I understand Airbnb’s defense. On the other hand, I also understand the need for a company to be accommodating and to take action to be better safe than sorry.

    Years ago, I removed personal ads from Geebo’s listings, in part because I felt that what was being advertised wasn’t appropriate for my site. I’m not suggesting that Airbnb block listings with San Francisco addresses (or am I?) but perhaps it could do something else to drive home the point, maybe an extra acknowledgment prompt before the final submission.

    I want to make sure that my visitors have a good experience and that they return the next time they’re looking for something specific. I would think that Airbnb would like the same.

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel