Are you moving? Going on a well-deserved vacation? Or maybe your son or daughter just got accepted to college and you are trying to find them the perfect rental close to campus?
Be suspicious if you see something like this: “A real steal! 1,400 sq. ft. home for rent, all utilities included – for just $500 a month!”
Steal is the right word, because this advertisement is nothing more than a scam. The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about rental scams listing fraudulent ads on popular marketplace websites.
Scammers are copying legitimate posts advertising properties in the area, then re-listing the properties as “for rent” with different contact information. These are known as “hijacked ads” and might even use the name of the “real” person who originally posted it.
Other scammers use what are referred to as “phantom rentals”; the listings do not even exist but are designed to lure you in. Their goal: Take your money before you have time to fully check them out.