The scammer has already done their research and knows the owners name. They will get a bogus email address with the owners name ie: JohnSmith@yahoo or gmail.com.
The best rule of thumb is if the supposed owner can not meet you at the property to show you the interior ofthe home, then it is a scam. The really low rent is the first sign it's a scam.
When renting from a private party (rather than a management company), make sure you confirm the owners' names (on tax record) and match them with the people who are renting the property to you. While this is not completely fool-proof, it does provide a bit of security. In the end, though...if you feel like it's a scam, don't be afraid to walk (or run) from the property.
I've read in the paper about situations where people have gone into vacant properties, changed the locks, then rented said property on Craigslist. Imagine the surprise of the renters when the owners come home and have no clue about the rental agreement!
Bottom line...be smart and cautious...and good luck locating a rental!
Yes, there is a lot of scams out there stating low rent for places that you know to be high in rent. If its probably too good to be true, it probably is. Always check with a valid reference such as a realtor, rental agent, property manager, appraiser, etc., before giving out information to someone on Craigslist. It could be bots, trying to collect data/personal information from you. I had a client who emailed me a rental they wanted to take a look at. It was on Kahala Ave, 3 BR, 2 BA going for $1,200/mo. I could not find it on any member information websites we as Realtors use to pull information. I called around to rental agents, appraisers, and property managers to find out if they knew anything about it. I told my client it was a scam, because public records showed different names for the owners and the people wanting to rent it out and no one had ever seen or heard of this rental. Long story short, my clients were told of this rental by some other friends who came across it while searching for rentals. My clients' friends decided to go and view the rental even after the forewarning that it was a scam. Well, the real owners were home and had no idea that their house was being rented out. In fact there were 3 other families that day all interested in that home. My clients thanked me for letting them know that it was a scam from the beginning, saving them that time of going out there for nothing. Hope this helped. Take care and let me know if you need help with anything else.
I received another bogus rental ad inquiry over the weekend. The owner is in Kenya! The number is +234 prefix. As Andrew said, if it looks funny, then....
Try VRBO.com, they have an excellent selection. Rentals that have been posted there over a year would be safest.
Also try Warren Dote at The Property Managers, Ltd.
74-5620 Palani Court; Suite 208
Kailua Kona, HI 96740
Phone: (808) 331-0585
Fax: (808) 331-0583
Send me the property address and I'll send you the name of the real owner.
Craigslist is fine, but you do have to be careful. Sometimes they are phishing for personal info. You can't tell until you check them out. Or just email me the link from Craigslist.
This is most likely a scam. I had this happen to one of my listings when it expired. They took pictures from my website and reposted on craigslist. The scammers claimed to be the owners and collected many deposits from several parties. One guy thought it seemed too inexpensive so he put the address in the web and got me. I called the owners and found out it was a scam. I agree with the following post do not rent or buy property on craigslist.
Best of Luck,