Rental scams are happening more and more on various real estate websites including Trulia and Craiglist.com. Most sites do not verify rental listings until a listing is reported as "suspect".
The scammer gets the information from a listing that is "for sale" and then posts it as a "rental" listing in an attempt to gain your money or personal information.
Get their full name and contact information and then check with the tax assessor's office to determine if indeed that individual is the true owner of the property.
Please, be very cautious.
Prudential Connecticut Realty
Please report any activity like that to the FBI: http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/ and if it's nothing then nothing will come of it. But don't be a victim.
Be very careful, there are lots of scammers out there.
You've received some great answers below. I concur with everyone that you should never exchange funds with anyone without first seeing a property in person and meeting the landlord or apartment manager, and if you are being asked to do so, you are likely encountering a scam.
I was able to find 485 B Potrero and 612 Van Ness, and I've blocked those properties from our site and we will investigate who submitted these listings to us.
If you or anyone else believes that they've encountered a scam listing on our site, please use the "Report an error" button on the property page to alert us about this, or email our Customer Service team directly via the link below.
This is going to sound redundant because so many pros have told you the same thing but if you are required to give anything up front without you or a representative seeing the property, I would turn around and walk away, you are about to get taken for your money. This is by no means safe. You should be working with an agent/broker or leasing agent that can assist you in making this type of transaction safely.
If you have additional questions or just need assistance in making this transition, please don't hesitate to give me a call or shoot me an email.
Phone (800) 385-0697
1366 Turk St. sounds like a scam as well. It's written into most leases that the landlord reserves the right to show the unit a certain number of days (usually 30) before the lease expires with the current tenant if they have no intention upon renewing their lease.
If you can't see the unit before signing or giving a deposit then chances are that it's a scam.
I suggest that you work with a real estate agent to assist you in finding a legitimate rental as usually there is no fee to you and the agent works for you in your best interests.
Prudential Connecticut Realty
They are not secure. All verification would be your responsibility. Be very careful. Rental listings offered by local real estate companies are a safer way to go. Here is Paragon's rental link for example:
CA DRE 01844627
A: If they can meet you at 450 Golden Gate Avenue, 13th Floor San Francisco - it's the FBI Field office.
485 B Potrero looks to also be a pending sale. 502 Beale St looks like the scam has been caught already. I did not find any listing at 612 Van Ness (I am pretty sure you didn't mean Van Nesse) - but I did find this post made 2 days ago about the same property - http://www.trulia.com/voices/Rentals/Anyone_else_encountered