Scamming on CL - Beware
SERIOUSLY?!?!?! Whats the deal lately? Are people really dumb enough to give these scammers their information? I emailed 10 places this week and all but 1 were scams. I really hate to do it, but Ive gotten so fed up that I created a virus to attach to their reply emails. Hopefully it will put them down for a while at least. Im just sick of the waste of time and feel bad for people who fall for it.. Ugh. Sorry had to vent - Beware to others using CL, most seem to be scams these days. And to those who do have legit posts, watch out they seem to be using your text in the reply emails to make it sound legit. Frustrating to say the least.
Just noticed that text and quite a few pics are being taken from seaglass properties. If anyone knows any of the agents working there, give them a heads up. Maybe a good idea to watermark the pics.
You are exactly right we have had the same results.It seems rentals in the VI are a little different from what people are accustom to. The advise given to us, since you are now on island and can go look for your self, let everyone you meet know what you are looking for, a lot of nice places are found this way also check out telephone post advertisements, local papers, and some are listed on this site by various posters.CL does get frustrating, ads have no telephone numbers,many telephone area codes do not match, ad sounds to good to be true, etc.Maybe someone from this site can PM you if they hear of any rentals available. Good luck
i hope you are also reporting them as scammers
As someone who sometimes advertises rentals on Craigslist, allow me to observe that scam rentals almost always offer feature-filled housing (sometimes fake features such as finished basements and heat) for a good deal less than the market price of apparently similar units. Of course, this alone may not signal a scam, but after encountering two or three such postings, this pattern very easily emerges. There are sometimes legitimate low priced units with many features and better than average deals sometimes. But, for the most part, there is no such thing as something for nothing (or too close to nothing).
I sometimes hear from scammers working the overpay scam--they want to send more money than is needed and want to receive "change" back before arrival. Sometimes what they ask to receive as change is not all the money they would be due, thus allowing the recipient to apparently benefit. This usually signals a bad check. Again, it is a too good to be true situation that begins with someone who wants to quickly rent sight unseen, a clear tip off. Even when such people manage to sound fairly authentic, one has to wonder why, if "money is no problem" as one person wrote to me recently, the inquirer wouldn't take a hotel or other short term housing upon arrival and then look around.
In short, it pays to be *very* cautious about deals that seem too good, whether from the perspective of a potential tenant or landlord.
What A&A is describing is more sinister -- photos and (usually partial) text copied directly from legitimate ads, with different contact information. It's not hard to spot a scammer; flag 'em when you see 'em.
Agreed; that kind of scam is harder to spot. I have been spoofed, that is, had my text repurposed by a scammer, even right here on this list, lol!! I have had fewer problems with picture spoofs since I began declining requests to send photos directly. However, it is easy enough to copy someone else's photos even if they don't send them to you. However, copied photos in scams have, I have noticed, sometimes a grainier quality. Watermarking is useful I think (Picasa software makes this relatively easy to do.)
I do try to flag any scam when I spot them, in an effort to make Craigslist a more useful place for legit users. I have also contacted realtors who seem to be the victims of spoofs, as they may have a number of properties advertised and many not catch it as quickly.
Yea, for me it's fairy easy to spot the scammers as I've been on a PMV know what the land looks like and know what a place should look like vs cost. I just get really annoyed when I email a legit picture that was stolen from seaglass webpage with a reasonable cost and I get the "I'm doing gods work in some random place""send me all your info". I usually mess with them for a couple emails for fun, sending pictures of celebrities back as myself but then I grow bored and just send them a virus. I just hate scammers especially because it wastes my time.
You guys do realize that responding to spammers only gets you marked as an active email account and you will be getting more spam.
Not if their PC is disabled.
the one time i heard of someone actually being taken by one of the scammers, she got a price that was just too good to pass up and she was bitten.
people who are seeking accommodations really should not stop at emails or a posting. ask the name of their business and contact the local better business bureau (ours is call the department of licensing and consumer affairs) to see if they are a legal business entity.
then, let the internet be your friend. google them. ask about them on boards such as this one.
ask for a phone number for calling and speaking with a live person and ask questions about the place you are visiting, such as the closest grocery store.
in the case i cite, the "owner" lived in a foreign country and knew nothing of the neighborhood.
i am not trying to blame the victim, as the scam would not be alive if there were not a whole lot more of her. con artists play on human nature. but we can and should check people out before we provide them with our personal information or our money.
let's be careful out there!!!
Unless they are advertising rentals as a business then calling the DLCA won't work as most landlords do not have to be licensed to rent property unless it is being rented thru a Real Estate Agency and then they must advertise it as such and identify themselves and the company in the ad. It's required.
Most people have no problem with identifying a location in their ad.
Some scam rentals I have seen have pictures of stateside looking apts. with nicely manicured streets, offer heat and elec., say they are off to help those in need and are not themselves located in the VI but want someone to take care of the property.
It is insidious, especially when there are so many legitimate rentals available.
Your best bet is to use a Realtor for your rental search. It's the only way to be sure.
IMO, the best way to relocate is to make arrangements for a temp place, an inexpensive hotel or guest house. On STX, we booked a week at Waves of Cane Bay. Started looking for a permanent place the same day we arrived. Drove around, talked to people at reataurants and bars. On the third day, as we were driving back to the hotel, we say a for rent sign on a fence. We stopped, spoke with the owner, looked at the property and rented it the next day. This method requires cash and usually either a job or proof of income. But it is the way I always recommend.
Your best bet is to use a Realtor for your rental search. It's the only way to be sure.
so speaks a realtor...
We as landlords have a different opinion...after many years, some management companies and some realtors, we found the best way for us was to rent directly to tenants...But will say that on stx the most secure way to find a rental is through word of mouth. We did try the Avis a bit, (did not work for us) and Craig's list (actually got one tenant that way), have gotten a few tenants through this message board, but mostly just by telling folks, listening to others, recommendations from former tenants, etc...and of course you have to be on island to look that way.
I am a landlord, too, and I use whatever means (Island Trader, CL, notices on bulletin boards, word of mouth, MLS, etc.) available to secure good tenants, including using Realtors who may have customers looking for rentals, which has worked out well for me, in the past.
I was thinking more of from someone relocating from the states looking for rentals using a Realtor, especially if they don't know their way around and are brand new to the island as just as this message board is a good source of info so can a Realtor be. Of course, if you are a landlord looking to rent, it's a resource that is available, if one so chooses. Whatever works best as long as everyone is satisfied.
3 more just today. 3 ads posted within 5 min of each other all for $700 for one bedrooms at different places on STT. No phone numbers or pics this time. Annoying.
I'm one of the lucky ones who found a great apartment on STT at a very reasonable price on Craig's List, but not before being semi-suckered into a scam. The old saying applies "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is." Use caution.