When Craigslist Scammers Take Over Your Rental Property

Amy Sept —  May 14, 2013

"For Rent", photo by HowNowDesign on FlickrOnline advertising leaves vacation rental owners open to a variety of scams, from phishing (where someone tries to steal your online identity) to scam artists sending fraudulent inquiries.

But have you heard about schemes where scammers use copy-and-paste and a Craigslist ad to pretend to be you – or at least, someone who owns your home?

How it works

To be fair, these scams aren’t new, aren’t limited to the Internet, and aren’t exclusive to Craigslist. However, websites like Craigslist make these traps easy to set up and more accessible to potential vacation renters.

The warning signs are the same for these scams as any others that seem too good to be true:

Craigslist itself offers a good reference page you should review for additional examples and warning signs.

What can you do as a homeowner?

Not much, unfortunately: Many owners find out by accident that someone else is marketing their property, when someone calls them or their property manager inquiring about their reservation – or looking for the keys.

However, with the help of online tools, you can take a more proactive approach to safeguarding your property. In an upcoming post later this week, we’ll tell you what we’ve been doing to try to stay one step ahead!

photo credit: HowNowDesign on Flickr

Amy Sept

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Writer and marketing pro Amy Sept is a regular contributor to the MyVR blog, to help answer your vacation rental marketing questions. Say hello via Twitter or Google+.
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