Rental Scam

Aug 20, 2019

Fraudulent activity is still occurring with our members’ listings by scammers using websites such as Craigslist. 

A scammer steals information from brokers’ listings of home sales and posts the listing for rent without the broker’s authority or knowledge.  The fraudster uses the brokers’ listing information to attract unsuspecting people searching for places to rent. 

The scammer alleges to be out of state and transacts the entire deal electronically.  After unsuspecting renters transfer money electronically for the property, the scammer disappears.  This is revealed ultimately when the potential renter tries to move into the property only to learn that the house was never for rent. 

Brokers should regularly check websites such as Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia, and Hotpads to see if any of their listings have been posted for rent without their authority.

If you discover that one of your listings was advertised in this manner, contact the website immediately and advise them of the situation and to remove the post.  You can also contact the Attorney General’s Office at (516) 248-3300 and ask to speak to the Consumer Protection Bureau.  Another source that may help is your local FBI field office since this conduct could be considered cyber fraud.  The Long Island FBI field office phone number is (631) 501-8600.