It's a crime of opportunity in a red hot rental market. How would you like to rent a home in Kaneohe for $700 a month or a 3-bedroom spacious home in Mililani for $1000? Sound too good to be true? It is!
Rental scams on Craigslist are nothing new, but people continue to fall for them.
Barbara Allison Simpson saw the ad on Craigslist. It says for $1000/month, you can rent a spacious 3-bedroom home with hardwood floors and stainless steal appliances in Mililani.
Barbara replied and received a quick response. The person on the other end claims he and his family had to move to West Africa. He tells Barbara all she needs is $1,800 to move in.
"There are red flags all over the place with this email," said Stephens Levins with the Office of Consumer Protection. "This scam has been around for awhile now, and unfortunately, it still traps people."
Barbara has to move out of her Ewa Beach home in a few days. She's desperate, but had a gut feeling the Craigslist advertisement was too good to be true.
"I actually sent the info to a friend and she said, oh that sounds like a steal, and I emailed her today and said it's a scam."
Barbara called KITV and we called the realtor representing the home in Mililani. It's been on the market for one week, and the real rental price is $3,000 a month. Plus, the owner of the property is not in West Africa.
"If you see an ad for a really good rental, for a really good price, in a great neighborhood, it's going to be a scam," said Levins. "People aren't going to be offering 3-bedroom houses in a great area for $1000 or $1500. It just doesn't happen that way."
The Office of Consumer Protection says to always make sure you see the property before you send any personal information or money.
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