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08

Craigslist Rental Scams on the Rise

The Capital Area Association of REALTORS suggests that you take the following action if you are a victim of a Craigslist rental scam:

1. Make a screen shot of the listing ASAP. Scammers often post a listing very briefly

then take it down as soon as they receive a response.

2. Alert Craigslist by flagging the post as 'prohibited' (upper right corner).

3. Send details to abuse@craigslist.org. Be sure to include the URL (or 10-digit post

ID number) in your message.

4. Contact the seller to alert them of the false Craigslist posting.

5. Follow up on Craigslist and review the site to ensure the faulty posting is removed.

6. Do periodic internet searches to ensure your properties are accurately listed on

authorized sites. To this end, you may want to consider setting up a google alert (http://www.google.com/alerts) for each property address you have listed so as to receive email notifications when this address appears on various websites.

7. Go to forums.craigslist.org and tell the community about this scammer. You may

be able to help someone else.

8. Do NOT attempt to contact or "set up" the scammer or jeopardize your safety. You should also report the issue to the Internet Crime Complaint Center and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). To report fraud to the FTC, go to the FTC Complaint Assistant site and fill out the information online. The form will walk you through the basics of reporting your complaint. Check out the How To video below for step-by-step instructions.

Here is a link to additional suggestions for dealing with the issue:  http://www.maar.org/default.aspx?p=79627&naid=10828

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