I don't look back on this same Trulia thread for answers posted after mine.
Realtor Since 1996
Main Street Realtors
I have heard people actually sending rental deposit to Nigeria and then expecting keys back.. it happened in one of my listings.... common sense is the best answer...take a step back (like you did) and ask if it makes sense...
Best of luck!
I actually called the internet police!!!! Crimes on the internet, they first came from POSTLETs.
The cheap rentals are a sign, and they don't talk to you personally or give you a phone number, RUN!
The scam goes like this, an owner puts their house up for sale through a realtor. The realtor does their job, takes photos and lists it on various websites including Trulia and Craig's list. Foreign con artists see the listing, steal the photos and offer it for rent at an unbelievably good price (which should be your first clue) and say, 'we were going to sell but changed our minds' and 'we were relocated for our job to (fill in the blank, some foreign country), or 'we are missionaries' and then they ask you to email an application and eventually wire transfer the secuirty deposit and first month's rent to a foreign bank. Your money is GONE, the house is NOT for rent and they are NOT the owners! I have even heard horror stories of people showing up with a lease and a moving van.
Please, don't fall for this scheme and, please, let those in authority know if you suspect such a scheme. It needs to end and the only way to make it end is for it to be reported.