Nevada City Police Warn of Craigslist Rental Scam

NEVADA CITY -- Nevada City police were warning of a Craigslist scam Sunday that targeted people looking to rent a house.

It started with a phone call for realtor Tiffni Hald.

“They were asking about it being for rent, so I called the listing agent and she said, 'No, it isn’t,'" Hald said.

Dozens of people were hoping to rent a house that she was trying to sell.

Nevada City police said she was one of several realtors targeted by a Craigslist scammer. Someone was copying their legitimate listings and posting them on Craigslist saying the houses were for rent at a very low price.

"This person was following through and sending out questionnaires to these young people, asking for money, asking personal questions," Hald told FOX40.

The scammer listed his phone number and told renters to mail a deposit to him and he would send keys. He would say he lived out of state so he couldn't take them on a tour.

"The thing that is really sad about the whole situation is people are so desperate for rentals in the area and affordable rentals that they are willing to send money without even going in the house," Hald said.

Hald flagged the advertisements the scammer posted about her properties, which were replaced by a scam warning.

"Don’t fall for these guys' tricks," she said. "The thing you need to look for is too good to be true prices. And the fact of the matter is that most legitimate landlords are going through some sort of property manager to vet the renters."

A credit check is standard and something the scammer was not asking for.

Hald said she hoped potential renters would do their due diligence so they wouldn't fall victim to the scam.

"If you have any questions about a rental, Google it! See if it’s for sale," she said. "Call the agents. They are very willing to help you."

In the end, Hald said if it seems too good to be true it probably is too good to be true. If you have fallen victim to one of these scams, call your local police.

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