It’s no secret that finding an apartment in a major city is a hassle. It takes time and energy to find the right place, broker fees can be exorbitant and you’re typically in competition with several other would-be renters. This is especially the case when you’re only looking for a short-term rental.
For many housing seekers, Craigslist is an attractive option since it lets you communicate directly with landlords and check out a listing without having to visit it or have it funneled through a broker who may or not have been listening to what you need.
In theory it sounds like a win-win proposition. Unfortunately, the biggest winners are sometimes scammers that create fake listings to get sensitive information or steal would-be advance payments from unsuspecting targets.
Veteran consumer affairs reporter Kristine Solomon nearly fell for one of these scams when she was looking for a short-term rental in New York City. What seemed like a meticulously detailed apartment listing posted by an out-of-town nurse turned out to be nothing more than the gossamer web of fraud.
Find out how the most cyber-aware among us are vulnerable, and how to identify similar scams.
Also discussed: Social media padding by way of the Karate Kid.
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