Craigslist Rental Scam Alert: There have been reports of residents falling victim to a craigslist home rental scam.
Here's how the scam works: You see a listing on craigslist for a home you want to rent. You make contact with the subject listing the home. They ask you to send a money order for the deposit. After you send the money you never hear back about the rental. You go to the home that you believe is the rental and the actual owner tells you the home is not for rent.
Many Ventura residents were impacted by the Thomas Fire and are in need of home rentals. Rentals can be difficult to find and a victim may feel pressured to make a deposit sight unseen because the scammer may say there are many inquiries regarding the property or that they are out of town but want to help the victim secure the property.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to protect yourself from becoming a victim of this scam:
Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.
Beware of offers involving deposits before you view the home - deal with locals you can meet in person.
Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) - anyone who asks you to is a scammer.
Don't accept cashier/certified checks or money orders - banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible.
Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a "guarantee".
Never give out financial info (bank account, social security, paypal account, etc).
Do not rent or purchase sight-unseen—that amazing "deal" may not exist.
Refuse background/credit checks until you have met landlord/employer in person.
Please report scams to the Federal Trade Commission online at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1 or by calling 877-382-4357. #craigslist #scam #home #rentalproperty #rental #thomasfire #scam #scammers #police #ventura #venturacounty #venturapolicedepartment