You acquisition a abode for hire in an ad on Craigslist and Zillow, ample out an appliance form, and accelerate money for a deposit. Again you acquisition out the abode isn’t absolutely for rent. It’s a apartment scam.
The Grafton Badge Administration beatific a admonishing to consumers Tuesday about such rental scams that use Craigslist and Zillow to column counterfeit apartment listings.
Police said abyss affectation as the owners of the properties. They booty absolute acreage listings of homes from accepted websites and use them to abode ads on Craigslist and Zillow, alms houses for rent. When a -to-be bedfellow contacts the bent to analyze about the property, the bent will email a renters’ appliance and appeal the -to-be bedfellow ample it out.
“This appliance requires the -to-be bedfellow to accommodate claimed advice to accommodate Social Security number, date of birth, driver’s authorization cardinal and banking history. In some cases, the bent will crave a bottomward acquittal to authority the property,” the admonishing said.
An abettor or freeholder shouldn’t ask for claimed information, such as a date of birth, Social Security cardinal or a buzz analysis cipher afore you see a property, badge said.
The admonishing acclaimed that the absolute owners of the acreage are additionally victimized in the process.
“The accurate owners of the backdrop are not acquainted that their home has been listed for hire on the crooked websites until the -to-be bedfellow makes claimed acquaintance with them requesting an analysis or a abode key,” the admonishing read.
Zillow backer Lauren Braun told the Public Investigator that the aggregation tries to action artifice by “policing” action on the side.
“If a rental advertisement is begin to be fraudulent, it is anon removed from Zillow,” she said in an email Tuesday. “Additionally, any user who posts a counterfeit advertisement is blocked from announcement added listings, if possible.”
Grafton badge said consumers should watch for these admonishing signs and red flags:
There are added tips on how to atom a rental betray on the Federal Trade Commission’s website. Zillow additionally has some examples of how a rental acreage betray email exchanges.
If you see a affected absolute acreage advertisement on Craigslist or Zillow, address it to those sites and to authorities:
How to address a counterfeit rental acreage advertisement on Zillow: Go to the advertisement you anticipate is fraud. Click “Report listing,” again “listing seems to be counterfeit or illegal.” Zillow encourages anyone who comes beyond apprehensive use of the Zillow name or armpit action to address it to [email protected]
How to address a counterfeit rental acreage advertisement on Craigslist: Click on “Avoiding scams & fraud.” Chase the advertisement of websites to address scams in the United States and Canada.
How to address the counterfeit rental advertisement to the Wisconsin Administration of Agriculture, Trade and Customer Protection: Online, by email to [email protected] or by buzz (800) 422-7128.
Report the counterfeit rental advertisement to the Federal Trade Commission: Alarm (877) FTC-HELP — that’s (877) 382-4357. Or use the online complaint form.
Also, address the affected advertisement to your bounded badge department.
For the latest betray alerts, customer news, viral belief and casual freebies, chase the Public Investigator on Twitter @GitteLaasbyMJS or like her Facebook page.
Gitte Laasby is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Public Investigator. She investigates government issues and customer affairs.
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