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Nancy, Renter in Edison Park, Chicago,...

How common is it for someone trying to rent house from overseas and house is posted on trulia site. AM I VICTIM OF SCAM???

Asked by Nancy, Edison Park, Chicago, IL Thu Sep 29, 2011

got a respons to craigslist posting. Man says he is overseas needing to rent hous ASAP. Has keys and documents with him. Sent me pictures that I have now seen on your website. completed his application form. got acceptance today with more details. now its time for money exchange. IS THIS A SCAM?? Please help meb being able to rent a place is all I want for my birthday.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Nancy,

Unfortunately these types of scams are common on many rental websites - and yes, this does sound like a scam.

Please access the link below to read our PSA about rental scams to be sure that you can spot the red flags in the future. And if you do suspect that a listing on our site is a scam, please use the 'Report error' button on the property page to alert our team about it.

Thank you,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 30, 2011
I'm afraid so. It has all the hallmarks of a scam.

The landlord "Needs to rent it ASAP." He is targeting renters without representation and little knowledge of the market. The landlord is overseas and took the keys and lease overseas with him instead of leaving them with a local property manager.

You were, I would guess, not able to view the property in person and based your application entirely on the photos.

The price offered by the overseas landlord is probably substantially lower than the one listed here on Trulia.

The overseas landlord may be claiming to be a Pastor or other religious leader.

I doubt that the landlord has any right to rent out the property that he is listing.

Please do not send money. Flag the ad on Craigslist as a scam. Keep an eye on your credit report for unusual activity over the next 6 months. If you have any other questions please follow up with me!

-Kay Cleaves 312-929-7077
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 30, 2011
do not rent real estate without using an agent- your going to get ripped off- Hire a professional always..its your house not your lawn mower
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Yes. It's a scam.

As noted, you've already provided a lot of information and if it's a scam to steal your identity, the scammer may already have succeeded. If he's just after the money he expect you to send him, don't send it.

FYI: Craigslist posts all sorts of warnings about just this sort of scam. It's important to read those.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
What they are really after is STEALING YOUR IDENTITY. The money is only extra for them. Don't give them any information about you. Even basic info. These are people from Africa and Asia from my experience. They use Craigs list to get homes that are listed for rent. THEY SAY DRIVE-BY THEN GIVE THEM YOUR INFO. Please be careful and check your sources.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
I would be very much worried. You should be able to see the property. You should also check if he is the owner. DO NOT SEND MONEY. Check everything twice. I have had properties I have listed for sale show up on these lists. The people had the sense to call me and I told them it was only for sale.
Joe Hedrick,CRS
Century 21 Marino Realtors, Inc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
I agree. Unfortunately, the internet is both our friend and our enemy. Craigs list is often where the scams are and sometimes even Trulia. If you are unsure, walk away. But if you really really want it, have the money held in escrow by an attorney and have some kind of proof of title, etc. An attorney in this case could save you a lot of money and hassle for a little money charge.

You don't want to lose your money. And even if you get the keys, you don't want to have some situation where someone comes knocking at the door - like the police - saying you are tresspassing, etc. if it is a scam.

Be safe, be sure.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Hi, I've encountered this many times and it is typically a scam. If you can't meet the landlord, physically see the property, and sign a lease in person, steer clear.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
It is a SCAM! Do not send your money!

A popular ruse is for scammers to take the listing information and photos for a property that is "For Sale" on real estate web sites and post it as "For Rent" in an attempt to gain an individual's personal information and money.

Check out who the true owner is of the property at the City or County Clerk's office or check the tax records at the tax assessor's office.

Be very cautious!

Good luck to you!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Sounds like a scam to me! In fact one of my properties is on Craigslist as a rental(not for rent) and have notified the authorities
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
100% scam. These scammers are everywhere trying to do this.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Nancy, I think a lot of people are misunderstanding. You're the renter, correct? And the lessor is claiming to be overseas? If that's the case, RUN!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Nancy - It' sounds like a scam to me. When in doubt, go with your gut. If you have to ask the question, then you have doubts. In the future, since you know the property address, it may be wise to look at the Registry of Deeds, which will show who the current owner is.

Best of luck -
The Marie Souza Team- Top Selling on Cape Cod
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
I've had similar situations happen to me on my rental properties. There's no easy way to find out if they're legitimate unless they complete a rental application and provide you with detailed information about themselves, photo ID like a passport, employment records, etc. I've never had such a situation proceed forward with me. Besides, who rents a property sight unseen? I've had out of state renters have a friend in the city look at it for them but never anything more removed than that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
More than likely, a scam. Under no circumstances should you provide any banking information, allow for any wire transfers outside the US, and any return of any money for any reason needs to be seasoned 30 days.
If you tell them those are your rules, my guess is they go away.
As a general rule of thumb, you should never engage in a real estate transaction of any type without face to face communication and a physical visit by the end user to the property prior to any lease or sale.

Find a local renter, in this market you should not have a problem finding a tenant.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
If they're asking you to send money overseas, it's a scam. Don't fall for it.

And if you gave up your personal information on the credit report such as your social security number, you have other reasons to worry as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Ummm...yes. Never send money without seeing the property in person.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
Sure it is a scam. Trulia is a poor site to searcha nyway because it has outdated and inaccurate information. Try or my web site if you do not want help from an agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
I am betting scam. Do not send money.
Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 29, 2011
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