If you are looking to find a rental unit on Craigslist, be very careful before you turn over your deposit. As just recently happened in Sacramento, a renter in the middle of eviction decided to raise money for his next abode. Instead of working for it he placed an ad in Craigslist offering to rent the apartment that he was being evicted from.
After getting 4 prospective tenants to give him a deposit and pre-payed rent he was busted. But if the suspect, Michael Blair, had half a brain, he could have been gone and in a new place and those folks would have been out the money. I can not imagine the police working really hard in an urban area to prosecute this sort of crime.
So if you are going to use Craigslist, be smart. Call the local property recorders office and find out who owns the property before handing over a check. These scams are too easy to pull off and getting your money back will be nearly impossible.
Sacramento Police say 28-year-old Michael Blair pled guilty to theft by false pretense after advertising a Condo in North Natomas for rent on Craigslist. He didn’t own it and was actually being evicted.
Michelle Lezark of the Sacramento Police Department says Blair collected thousands of dollars in rent and deposits from at least four people. He’s one of many scammers who use the popular Craigslist website.
Lezark recommends checking with the Recorder’s Office to find out if it’s the legitimate owner and don’t pay in cash. via NewsTalk 1530 KFBK