Advertisement
Scams

Beware Bogus Apartment Rental Ads

Too-good-to-be-true apartments offered on Craigslist may not exist.

It can be tough to find a place to live when you re­locate for a new job or internship. But young professionals should use caution when searching for an apartment on Craigslist. A recent study led by Damon McCoy, of NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, found roughly 29,000 fraudulent listings on the site in 20 major cities over a five-month period. Craigs­list identified and removed fewer than half of the bogus ads flagged by researchers.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The largest category of scams involved credit checks on nonexistent properties. After an applicant replied to an ad, the scammer would request a credit report and provide a link to a credit-check service. The scammer then collected a commission for each person who paid for a report.

Another scam used ads cloned from other websites, with properties listed at a lower price. Scammers then asked applicants who responded to wire a deposit.

A landlord may ask you to provide a credit report. Before you consent, verify the landlord’s identity by calling or e-mailing with questions about the property and the local area, advises Katie Johnson, general counsel of the National Association of Realtors. Never make a deposit on an apartment you’ve never seen, and don’t send financial information via e-mail.

Advertisement

Most Popular

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)
tax deadline

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)

Between due dates for IRA or HSA contributions, paying estimated taxes and other deadlines, there's more to do by July 15 than just filing your federa…
July 10, 2020
65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On
stocks

65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On

These 65 Dividend Aristocrats are an elite group of dividend stocks that have reliably increased their annual payouts every year for at least a quarte…
July 8, 2020
Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year
tax law

Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year

Americans are facing a long list of tax changes for the 2020 tax year...and it's never too early to start thinking about next year's return.
June 22, 2020

Recommended

13 Tax Breaks for Homeowners and Home Buyers
income tax

13 Tax Breaks for Homeowners and Home Buyers

Owning (or buying) a home is expensive. But at least there are some tax deductions, credits, and exclusions that can help you recoup some of those cos…
June 22, 2020
12 Things Every Home Buyer Should Do
real estate

12 Things Every Home Buyer Should Do

Buying a home may be one of the biggest purchases you will ever make.
June 12, 2020
11 Things Every Home Seller Should Do
real estate

11 Things Every Home Seller Should Do

As a home seller, your goal is to sell your property quickly for the most money possible.
June 12, 2020
13 Reasons You Will Regret an RV in Retirement
retirement

13 Reasons You Will Regret an RV in Retirement

RV-loving retirees talk about the downsides of spending retirement in a motorhome, travel trailer, fifth wheel or other recreational vehicle.
June 8, 2020