Craigslist rental ads attracting the crooks - Hawaii Editorials

What's it like to be the victim of three attempted robberies in one day? It all started when my wife and I decided to advertise our Manoa apartment on the popular Craigslist, where the price is "free" and you can even include photos. Full Story
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Since: Nov 09

Keauhou, HI

#1 Nov 24, 2009
Scams on Craigs List aren't limited to rentals. The problems have risen to such proportions that it has convinced many people to quit using the service.
The operators of CL need to find another way of policing their operation.
Where is the Plan

Honolulu, HI

#2 Nov 24, 2009
Abunai! Be careful! Do not answer these ads. I responded saying their scam was obvious and well known in Hawaii. Well that was the end of my McAfee etc protected computer. They trashed it within a week. I received repeated e-mails and then one morning it simply scrolled words continuously and died. It sits in my garage (withcarefully scanned family photos on it) awaiting a computer whiz to get my photos off the hard drive.

watch out and do not answer these scammers
Captain Obvious

AOL

#3 Nov 24, 2009
How is this even worthy of publication? So Mr. Fassler wanted to get a freebie by using Craig's List instead of paying a management company to find and screen tenants. That's all fine and dandy, but he shouldn't complain when his free ride blows up on him. I guess he got what he paid (or rather didn't pay) for. I get dozens of emails every month telling me I have won the UK lottery or I can help someone in Africa who has millions stranded in a Swiss bank account. But you don't see me writing an editorial about it. Come to think about it, I get robbed several times a day when I pay the extra 0.5% GET to fund Mayor Mufi's "rail contracts for campaign donations" scheme. When it comes to crooks the ones in politics are far more dangerous than the ones on Craig's List.
cautious

Santa Clarita, CA

#4 Nov 24, 2009
A variation of this scam that has become popular on the mainland is people posting rental ads for houses they do not own.

Renters who answer the ads are told they cannot view the inside of the house because a tenant is currently moving out, or the locks are being changed, or some other excuse; but are told they are free to drive by the property. In rare cases the scammer has made an illegal copy of the key.

The potential renter, excited by the often too good to be true rent, then hands over their security deposit, first month's rent and personal info for the credit check, and then never hears from the scammer again.

Be careful, ask questions, and if you're not dealing with a property management company, ask for proof of ownership...
Mike

United States

#5 Nov 24, 2009
Craigslist court cases appear on the People's Court every week on TV.
Michael

Honolulu, HI

#6 Nov 24, 2009
You could scam the scammers. Tell them that you'd be happy to rent them the apartment, but that there's another tenant ready to put down the deposit today; if they wire you the money by Western Union, you'll hold it for them. Of course they won't, but point made.

I have a friend who, for fun, strung one of these scammers along on email for weeks with back and forths. It got to the point that the scammer was threatening (in poor English, of course) to find and kill him. The email threads were pretty funny.
Richard Fassler

Honolulu, HI

#7 Nov 24, 2009
@Captain Obvious. You're right. I have no reason to complain, since I advertised on this free service. But I thought that the least I could do was to get the word out so that other people--and there must be tons of other people--don't become victims.

What is troubling is that attempted robbery is happening to so many people, so often (as you have admitted has happened to yourself). Yet, we shrug this off--"ho hum"...no big deal. If folks were held up by a guy with a gun, they would certainly do something about that. There was no danger to me involved, yet someone wanted to illegally take the money that I have worked very hard to obtain.

Every morning when I open up my email, there is some attempted scam. It's getting so I don't know whom to trust anymore. I think we would all agree, that if the only people we can trust are our closest friends and family, the quality of our lives will have greatly diminished.
DADDY LAU

AOL

#8 Nov 24, 2009
Fools rush in!!!!!!!!
Exactly

Kailua, HI

#9 Nov 24, 2009
Richard Fassler wrote:
@Captain Obvious. You're right. I have no reason to complain, since I advertised on this free service. But I thought that the least I could do was to get the word out so that other people--and there must be tons of other people--don't become victims.
What is troubling is that attempted robbery is happening to so many people, so often (as you have admitted has happened to yourself). Yet, we shrug this off--"ho hum"...no big deal. If folks were held up by a guy with a gun, they would certainly do something about that. There was no danger to me involved, yet someone wanted to illegally take the money that I have worked very hard to obtain.
Every morning when I open up my email, there is some attempted scam. It's getting so I don't know whom to trust anymore. I think we would all agree, that if the only people we can trust are our closest friends and family, the quality of our lives will have greatly diminished.
Well said and thanks for doing the article. I have been keenly aware of these types of criminal activities for years, however, there are many people out there who need this type of refresher education.
craigslist is no good

Ewa Beach, HI

#10 Nov 24, 2009
I posted my place on CL one time for rent. First hour I got an email from a guy that wanted it. He said he would be willing to pay for the whole year up front and an additional 10% if he could stay in my place. Of course I couldn't turn it down. He asked me to give him my bank information, social security number, address and birth date so he could wire me the payment + 10% extra for the year. I obliged. The next day all my money was gone (over $40,000).

I think Craig's list should be responsible for this and pay me back as I would never have lost all my money if it weren't for their service.

I also think Mufi's train is a great idea.

And that I will vote for him as governor.
Agree

Honolulu, HI

#11 Nov 24, 2009
What is sad is that the elderly and the uninformed are taken in by this all the time. Your letter will educate more to be aware and cautious.
When I sold on eBay I'd one of these requests a day, I used to have a great time playing mind games with them. Now I have no fun :(
alice

Hanalei, HI

#12 Nov 24, 2009
scary..so much danger out there
Robert W

Mililani, HI

#13 Nov 24, 2009
Just as in most cases, the usefulness of something like craigslist is tarnished by the small percentage of frauds out there.

1. If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
2. Cash is king for selling things.
3. Meet at a safe third-party location if exchanging goods.
4. Hire a rental agent or schedule several showings at the same time if you're renting property.

I'm somewhat amazed that people ('craigslist is no good') still hand out their SSN in an instance where it's clearly not called for. I'm somewhat hopeful that the lines about the train being a good idea and voting for Mufi for Governor reveals the whole post to be satire.
alice

Hanalei, HI

#14 Nov 24, 2009
I live in a dorm and it seems safe here
ka iwi coast

Honolulu, HI

#15 Nov 24, 2009
There will always be idiots looking out for a "deal". Scammers know this and take advantage of it.
Wong

Honolulu, HI

#16 Nov 24, 2009
craigslist is no good wrote:
I posted my place on CL one time for rent. First hour I got an email from a guy that wanted it. He said he would be willing to pay for the whole year up front and an additional 10% if he could stay in my place. Of course I couldn't turn it down. He asked me to give him my bank information, social security number, address and birth date so he could wire me the payment + 10% extra for the year. I obliged. The next day all my money was gone (over $40,000).
I think Craig's list should be responsible for this and pay me back as I would never have lost all my money if it weren't for their service.
I also think Mufi's train is a great idea.
And that I will vote for him as governor.
The last part of your statement did not make any sense at all. Here's some food for thought greedy people will always find more greedy people to scam on. Next time if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Just a thought
alice

Hanalei, HI

#17 Nov 24, 2009
greed kills..please stop it
Wong

Honolulu, HI

#18 Nov 24, 2009
alice wrote:
I live in a dorm and it seems safe here
Is that what they call senior citizens apartments nowadays. liar, funny you think you know everything else that goes on around your so called dorm.
Wong

Honolulu, HI

#19 Nov 24, 2009
alice wrote:
I live in a dorm and it seems safe here
BTW clueless, Craigslist is on the computer which is still in your so called dorm. Ha spooky isn't it, your so close to all the unsafe things out there.
taxpayer

United States

#20 Nov 24, 2009
Just stick with porn.

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