Consumer Alert: Signs of a Craigslist rental scam -


Consumer Alert: Signs of a Craigslist rental scam

Craigslist is a crap shoot when you're hunting for an apartment or other rental.

What may appear as a legitimate landlord may actually be a loser looking to steal either your identity or your first month's rent.

The consumer advocacy site revealed these signs as the dead giveaways of a Craigslist rental scam.

* NO PHOTOS/CITY NAME. There's a reason the ad doesn't post pictures of the rental property or the city's listing. That's because the property doesn't exist.

* AUTO-GENERATED E-MAIL ADDRESS. Craigslist rental scammers will often list e-mail contact addresses that look like a mish-mash of letters and/or numbers. Those are automatically generated by computer -- designed to be untraceable.

* NO SECURITY DEPOSIT REQUESTED. Most real landlords request a security deposit. This is usually the bait that leads to an actual request for the first month's rent up-front. There's your scam.

* BAD CREDIT'S OK. If the Craigslist ad says applicants with bad credit are OK, that's a sign someone's targeting renters with lousy credit -- who also tend to have a lousy Spidey sense of when they're being ripped off. posted a great blog on this subject, including actual examples of rental scam listings from Craigslist. Read it right here.

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