WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Many are heading to the shore this holiday weekend, maybe even renting a house. Or you may be looking to book a house for later this summer. Scammers are looking to cash in for those who want to get away.
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Criminals are trying to take your hard-earned money in the disguise of Craigslist ads.
“I know that there’s been scams in previous scams on Craigslist, so I just wanted to make sure that my property wasn’t being listed,” Brian Reed, of Long and Foster Real Estate, said.
Reed told Eyewitness News that he was being proactive when he stumbled upon a previous client’s house listed for rent on Craigslist.
“I called up my client and I said, ‘you’re not renting your property, correct?’ And they basically said, ‘no, why?'” Reed said. “I had to explain to them that someone is trying to rent their property on Craigslist.”
The beautiful three-bedroom, one-bathroom home in North Wildwood is listed for rent on Craigslist with no price and no address.
The scammer has the home listed as cat and dog friendly with wheelchair accessibility, none of which are true because the house isn’t even for rent.
“I was confused at first,” homeowner Jennifer Chiarcossi said. “I didn’t understand what I was seeing and then I was surprised. I didn’t realize that people would actually try to do something like that.”
Chiarcossi purchased the North Wildwood home in the spring. She says she hasn’t had anyone stop by, but the listing is still active on Craigslist — even though it’s been flagged.
“I’m just hoping no one actually sends money to this person and shows up to our house thinking that they rented the property,” Chiarcossi said.
When looking into renting a property, there are some red flags that you should be aware of. If the property manager asked for a wired money payment, an unreasonably low price, no mention of an address and if the buyer wants your cash before even showing you the property, chances are it’s a scam.
“I’m hoping that no one falls for it and I’m hoping that Craigslist will actually take down the posting,” Chiarcossi said.