Signs a Craigslist Apartment Listing is a Scam

Some things I noticed while apartment hunting that tend to indicate a scam:

  • logo in a corner of a page- this is often done to overwrite another logo from the site they stole the pictures from. E.g.,
    1
  • search for the address- it may come up with a recent for sale listing with the same photos. In fact just having the exact address listed seemed to be a moderate flag for a scam, real places often didn’t list their address but scammers always did.
  • right click an image in the posting and select “search google for image”. Coming up anywhere else is a bad sign.
  • the phrase “sleeps X” in an ad for a long-term lease- a sign they’ve copied from airbnb
  • furnished or has E/V charging- these are really rare, but scammers just check every box. In fact when I wanted to find a photo to illustrate point 1, I searched for “has E/V charging”
  • obviously a low price is a bad sign, but there are big costs to ignoring those. A much worse sign is a low price with very nice photos. That requires someone willing to put in the effort for beautiful photos but not make the place nicer to charge more rent.
  • Elaborate explanations for why they can’t show the place.
  • Allows immediate month-to-month leases.

For information on a more sophisticated scam, check out my friend Jefferey’s post.

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