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BEWARE: Fraudulent Rental Listings Seen on North Shore

8.24.20

The North Shore is again seeing evidence of fraudulent listings on Craigslist for rental apartments.

The listings use stolen MLS photos and property descriptions of currently or recently for sale properties to defraud interested renters. These rentals are typically listed at below market rates to entice potential victims. When the scammer is contacted, they will require an upfront fee to show or hold the property, which they may claim is refundable. This fee can be thousands of dollars.

If you are working with a rental client make sure to cross reference any rental listings that are suspiciously below market value or have descriptions that indicate they are for sale with MLS PIN.

If you have a listing it’s a good practice to set a Google Alert for the property address. This way if a fraudulent rental posting is made active you are likely be notified. If a fraudulent listing is found:

  • make sure to flag the listing for removal;
  • consider the use of a "Not for Rent" sign within a window visiable from the street, especially if the property is vacant;
  • the local police may also be able to assist.

If you or a client has been a victim, the local police should be alerted as soon as possible. The FBI also has an Internet Crime Complaint Center which can be found here. The sooner the authorities are alerted the more likely they are to recover any lost funds.

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