CLEARWATER – Clearwater police warn people of rental property scams on Craigslist. Scammers list rent and vacation rentals and will put the address and even photos of it and will request potential renters to wire them the first and last month’s rent, security deposits and assorted fees, a police report said.
The renter then arrives at the address, only to find that it is an empty property up for sale or occasionally is occupied by the legitimate owner who is unaware of the scam.
Potential renters should make every effort to meet with or at least talk to the property owner by telephone. Be aware of any rental agreements that seem suspicious or that use poor English grammar.
If you are victimized by a rental scam, contact the local law enforcement agency. If you are a property owner and have renters arrive at your residence stating that they have rented it, contact police so the renter’s information can be obtained and they can be interviewed as to how they contacted the scammer.