California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Rental Fraud on Craigslist on the Rise

As reported on the California Real Estate Fraud Report last year, fraudsters are using Craigslist to rent properties for which they have no authority to either take deposits or rent.

A new article in the Silicon Valley Mercury News details that this form of rental fraud may be on the increase. With more homes going into foreclosure, many are vacant. Real estate criminals look for properties that are vacant, change the locks and begin advertising the properties for rent. Craigslist is probably the most common advertising location as ads may be posted for free.

Some criminals are now advertising homes that are actually listed for sale and creating their own rental ads, hoping to catch a person desperate to rent – perhaps after losing their own home to foreclosure – and collecting a deposit.

If you are looking for a home to rent, heed the advice of Craigslist on its own website:

Never wire funds via Western Union, MoneyGram or any other wire service — anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.”

If you are uncertain that the person with whom you are speaking is the property owner or works for a property management company, ask for their identification.

There is also an excellent article on rent fraud in the Martinez News-Gazette.


© Copyright 2007-2018 Monique Bryher

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The information and notices contained on The California Real Estate Fraud Report are intended to summarize recent developments in real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, appraisal fraud, loan modification scams, loan modification fraud and other real estate related crimes occurring in Los Angeles and California. The posts on this site are presented as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Much of the information on this site concerns allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime. Readers who have particular questions about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud matters or who believe they require legal counsel should seek the advice of an attorney.

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