Cheyenne, Wyo. - The Cheyenne Police Department is warning of a scam targeting potential renters in the Cheyenne area.
The scam targets people who are using Craigslist to look for housing.
The way it works is scammers find information on a house currently for sale and copy that info and photos and then post it on craigslist. As potential renters contact them they con them out of rent deposits.
So how do you avoid falling for these apartment rental scams and fraud on craigslist? According to ToughNickel.com you should only deal with local people you can meet in person. Also, only rent a unit you can see in person. If you let a suspicious apartment pass you by, rest assured that there will always be another apartment. It's not worth forking your money over on the rare possibility that the owner might truly be on a life-saving mission to save the penguins in Antarctica.
Do not go through with a rental that requires you to wire money upfront without ever even meeting the owner. Don't send your personal information off to an email address. Craigslist is not eBay where you have protections and regulations. It is simply an online meeting place people for people looking to sell, rent or buy. You have to protect yourself and your money.
Always read through every Craigslist post with a critical eye. Remember, scammers are counting on you to not look at the listing closely. Research everything the advertisement mentions, including the address and any names. If it's an apartment, investigate the company that owns and manages the building. If you're trying to lease a sublet, talk to the management company first.
You can also try copying and pasting some of the phrases used in a suspicious listing into a search engine. Frequently, scammers will simply copy and paste their work around the Internet. In some cases, you might even find forums and other websites discussing the very scammer you've found.
You can read more at: https://toughnickel.com/real-estate/How-to-Avoid-Apartment-and-House-Rental-Scams-on-Craigslist