More and more people are falling victim to online housing rental scams, especially in resort-areas like northern Michigan.
They have become more prevalent in the last four or five years, as there have been more foreclosures on the market. It TMs more challenging for people to get financing, so we've had a huge increase in the amount of people who want to rent, said Ted Lockwood, RE/MAX Bayshore Properties.
Of course, Craigslist is a hotbed for rental scams.
Some of the scams actually used pictures from real property listings. The scam artist then posted their listing at a lower price. All they want from you: a security deposit in the mail.
Never send a deposit though the mail to an address. I don't care if it is a P.O. Box in Charlevoix, Traverse City or Hong Kong. I'd physically meet the person. I want to know who my landlord is, said Lockwood.
Here are some other red flags you should look for:
- Is the rental property listed by someone who is out of town?- Does the person who posted the property have awful grammar?- Do they want money through the mail?- Is it too good to be true?