Craigslist Housing Scam

by Taylor Viydo,  

If you are looking on Craigslist to rent a home: Beware.  

Recently, reports of scams on the craigslist housing market have been surfacing in Casper. In a handful of cases, homes for sale have been fraudulently listed “for rent” on craigslist complete with fake emails and phone numbers.  

“People will put houses that are actually for sale and make them appear as if they are for rent,” said Josh Kalinowski, President of the Wyoming MLS. “They'll require a deposit that will be sent to them via mail, with the hopes a key sent in return.”  

Such a case happened to Kevin Rogers and Monica MacMillan, who are selling Rogers' house on Maple Street. One night the couple got a call from their real estate agent, who saw their home listed as for rent on craigslist for $700 a month. The posting had a fake phone number and email address. Rogers then contacted craigslist, and the listing was subsequently taken down.  

Kalinowski said that these scams are not new to Casper, and that people looking to rent have lost money to fraudulent renters.  

However, realtors are doing their part to prevent the scams from happening in the first place. The MLS has begun the practice of placing watermarks on photos on online listings. The group also makes calls to craigslist if any scams do get posted. “Our number one priority is protecting the public,” said Kalinowski.  

Casper Police say that users going on craigslist should not give out more information than they are comfortable with, and that if an offer is “too good to be true,” chances are it's probably a scam. Police also said people looking to buy, sell, or rent a home should use a realtor whenever possible.