There have been several recent occurrences of this rental scam on the Big Island, so Hawaii is not immune. Scam artists troll the internet for properties listed for sale, either For Sale by Owner or by a licensed Realtor, and then create a counterfeit Craigslist posting with a sham email address offering the property for rent, usually below market value for the area. Investigate carefully anything you see posted online, especially if email you receive is written poorly and from someone claiming to be out of the country.
Unfortunately, some of these scams involve homes that are listed for sale by legitimate sellers and real estate brokerages. There have been several recent occurrences of this rental scam on the Big Island, so Hawaii is not immune. Here is one possible way the scenario unfolds: Prospective tenants who proceed past this step are then given instructions for wiring money to an account created by the scam artist. The owner of a seller-occupied home targeted by such a scam may be alerted to the fact by an unusual amount of traffic driving by the property. Investigate any unusual notification you receive and, if you find that it is on Craigslist, follow up to be sure the post is removed. Investigate carefully anything you see posted online, especially if email you receive is written poorly and from someone claiming to be out of the country. The scam artist responds with written instructions for applying to rent the home or for viewing the home, usually claiming to be out of the country. This will indicate clearly to anyone driving by that you are represented by a local real estate brokerage and will give them a contact number to call. Set up a Google Alert or notification of your choice using your street address as the key word. Renters are encouraged to check the backgrounds of prospective landlords just as carefully as legitimate landlords are likely to check yours. Beware of Craigslist Rental Scams While Craigslist can be a valuable resource for many purposes, there is a downside to the free service that can impact home sellers and potential renters. The number of rental scams being perpetrated on Craigslist is increasing at an alarming rate. Eventually, the prospective tenant realizes he or she has been misled and usually there is very little chance of getting any money back. Here are some steps that may be taken by home sellers and prospective renters to avoid being caught up in one of these scams: If you are a seller and have questions or concerns about a listing you have with Clark Realty Corporation, please contact your listing agent for more information. In either case, it is difficult to trace the origins of the Craigslist ad, so reporting the post is often the only recourse a seller or listing agent has in the short-term. Most importantly, never send money or give your personal information social security number, etc. Prospective renters, searching Craigslist for homes to rent, reply to the bogus email address that has been set up by the scam artist requesting information. Monitor your email account for alerts that your address has appeared on a website other than bona fide real estate sites. Scam artists troll the internet for properties listed for sale, either For Sale by Owner or by a licensed Realtor, and then create a counterfeit Craigslist posting with a sham email address offering the property for rent, usually below market value for the area.
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