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You are probably aware of a scam that is becoming more and more out of control and is affecting many of our local REALTOR® members and the public.
Criminals are scraping the information from the public MLS website or from syndicated sites and then posting the properties on Craigslist as if they are their rental properties, long term and short term. They request a deposit for an amount be wired and then the keys will be sent. Unfortunately, people really fall for this. Not only does it harm the unsuspecting public, the homeowner whose property is listed is also harmed and some property owners are being sued. This is obviously not good for our members either.
The MLS and the syndicated sites (realtor.com, Zillow, etc.) are the best avenues for publicizing properties for sale, but the criminally-minded have figured out a way to use that information on those sites to scam innocent people.
When we get a call or email about this, we have a standard reply to our members:
Unfortunately, scams on Craigslist can only be stopped by clicking the "prohibit" link that is found on the inaccurate listing. Please urge your coworkers to also click the "prohibit" like on the false listing in order to better get Craigslist's attention about the listing. Craigslist will eventually take down the listing after enough flags have been waved by enough people.
Beware of these Craigslist scams and make every effort to check the website to make sure your listings are not being targeted.