Nigerian Rental Scam Hits Daytona Beach
The latest wrinkle in the Craigslist Nigerian rental scam is that it's targeting vacation home rentals in Florida. A Daytona Beach real estate site reports that one would-be vacationer was foiled when he found a too-good-to-be-true vacation rental on Craigslist. The 4 bedroom, 3 ½ bath home with a pool, outdoor kitchen in a top gated community was listed at just $1,000 a month. This should have been the first warning sign. But the renter continued.
After completing an unusual application via email (with none of the usual driver's license, past addresses) - red flag no. 2 - the renter was told he could have the property once the $1,100 security deposit was wired via Western Union. He was told the keys would be FedExed the next day. That should have been his third red flag.
Luckily this renter saw the warning signs and got suspicious when he saw the "landlord" was in West Africa with no stateside representation. Once he Googled rental scams he saw that many are surfacing from Africa and stopped just shy of sending the money.
According to a Fox News report, often the scams offer properties at great rental prices. So beware. You may not have much recourse, the report goes on: "Online crooks can be hard to track down and often operate from third-world countries." So be suspicious when owners claim they aren't in the country.
Check out the Fox New York report which explains another, similar and rather sophisticated Craigslist scam happening in Manhattan involving apartments at The Grand Chelsea in the desirable Chelsea neighborhood.
For more on rental scams, check out this helpful site: RentalScams.org.