ANDY'S CONSUMER TIP OF THE DAY: Craigslist rental scams

ANDY'S CONSUMER TIP OF THE DAY: Craigslist rental scams

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Craigslist is a crapshoot when you're hunting for an apartment or some other rental. What may look like a legitimate landlord may actually be a loser looking to steal either your identity or your first month's rent.

The consumer advocacy site, Consumerist, said these signs are dead giveaways of a Craigslist rental scam:

* NO PHOTOS OR CITY NAME LISTED. That's because the rental property doesn't exist.

* AUTO-GENERATED EMAIL IS LISTED AS THE CONTACT. The auto email is typically a gobbledygook mess of characters designed to be untraceable.

* NO SECURITY DEPOSIT REQUESTED. Most real landlords request a security deposit. When there's no deposit requested on a Craigslist rental ad, that is usually the bait that leads to an actual request for the first month's rent up-front -- and that's how the scammer gets your money.

* BAD CREDIT IS OK. If the Craigslist ad says applicants with bad credit are OK, that's a sign someone's targeting renters with lousy credit and with a lousy sense of when something's not right.

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