This isn’t a new scam by any means, but it’s getting more prevalent. Scammers are putting up fake apartment and house rentals up on Craigslist. The ads are usually pretty believable and will lead you into thinking you’re getting a good deal. However, the “landlord” is always in a time crunch and needs you to get a credit check immediately to bring with you before he or she will show you the rental. As luck would have it, the scammer refers you to a website he or she has used in the past.
The scam is that the apartment isn’t real and the “credit check” website is nothing more than a negative opt-in scam, meaning, you’ll automatically be signed up for some phony service that will cost you hundreds of dollars each month until you find a way to stop the charges. All of the charges will be non-refundable and you will lose out on a ton of money.
Here’s a copy of an email that has been floating around Craigslist lately…
Thanks for responding to my ad on Craigslist for the rental property.
The property is still available. In fact, I was in town to sell the property but the buyer
backed out at the last minute because of financial difficulties. My misfortune is your
gain because I must rent it out quickly before I go back to my practice in New York.
I only want to deal with somebody who has a steady income and can pay the rent
The rent is monthly with a yearly lease and it does not include utilities, except
water. It is available immediately and is not furnished. Small dogs and cats are
allowed with a refundable deposit of $100.00.
I need to get this place rented out as soon as possible because I am only in town for
a week so if you want to see it please contact me back right away and I will show it
to you immediately. I am available just about any time to show it to you.
I will have a lease prepared and ready when I show you the place so we can get you in
right away if you like it. I’ll give you the keys when you sign the lease. My staff will
handle the deposit and rent payments. Please bring some form of identification.
You will also need to bring a credit report with you no later than 30 days old. I will
not run a credit report for you because I don’t do this full time and I don’t have an
office in this area.
I recommend this place: http://walps.com/creditreportcouponcode41178 because I
have used them before and I know they are accurate. Also, my link will take you
directly to a trial page. If you are around 550 or better you should be fine.
Please let me know when you want to see the property. I can answer the rest of your
questions when we get together. We can first meet at a public place of your choosing
if you desire. I must keep my cell phone open for medical emergencies so for now,
please contact me through email.
Dr. William Walps
Walps Enterprises, Inc
Do not fall for this scam. There’s no reason why you would have to bring a credit report with you to a house you’ve never seen before. It’s absolutely sickening to hear of just how many people are falling for this garbage. If you’ve come across any similar emails, please post them in the comments below to help others learn of this scam.