Five Money Scams to Watch out for on Craigslist Lansing

Lansing, Michigan residents usually have good luck buying, selling or finding services on Craigslist Lansing, but there are some dangers that all users must be aware of. While it’s still a good venue for advertising real estate, rentals, items for sale or trade, or even help wanted, there are some nasty scammers out there who are out to take advantage of the innocent. To show you how slick these crooks can be, here are five money scams that have been identified in your area. These are some of the things to watch out for on Craigslist Lansing.

1. Housing scams to watch out for

Andrea Montgomery was looking for a new home for her daughter and herself so they could be closer to the school she attended. She found one that looked affordable but it didn’t have a telephone number, just the address. She drove by the home which was located at 1617 Barnes Avenue. It just so happened that the homeowner was there. He was just preparing to move out of the house. He had posted an ad on Craigslist to advertise the home, but when she showed him the ad, they were both shocked because that wasn’t the advertisement that he had listed. The scammer had taken the photo and information from the homeowner’s ad and used it to try to trick people into sending deposit and rent money to the false advertiser. The only thing that the con artist changed about the ad was the contact information and the rental price. This is a scam that people in Lansing need to be aware of. Montgomery learned a valuable lesson because she had nearly become the victim of a scammer on Craigslist Lansing.

2. Yet another rental scam in Lansing

This scam has been showing up more and more on the Craigslist ads in the Lansing area. Realtor Miriam Olsen was showing a home to clients in Williamston. When they arrived at the property there was a man walking around the home and he explained to her that it was advertised for rent and he was there to take a look at it before putting down a deposit. After checking into the situation, it was discovered that a scammer had used the advertisement that listed the home for sale to post a fraudulent advertisement. The photos and description were taken from the original ad and altered with phony contact information and a rental price. The would-be victim was fortunate that the realtor showed up when she did or he would have likely become the victim of a real estate scam.

3. More rental scams in mid-Michigan

Tim Poxson is a realtor with the 21 Century Looking Glass company and he’s warning everyone to watch out for the latest real estate scams. He tells of incidences where renters put down rent money and deposits only to arrive and find that there is already somebody living in it. He reports that scammers are on the lookout for vacant homes that are for sale. They take the ads and change the sale heading to a rental along with the contact information. They go so far as to have their potential victims fill out a rental application before requiring a security deposit and the first month’s rent in advance before they meet them face to face to sign the lease. They operate via email and untraceable mobile phones. When the renters attempt to move into their new rentals, they discover that there is already someone living there and it is not until then that they realize that they’ve been scammed out of their money and the thieves are long gone. He has personally dealt with three of these incidents in the Lansing area.

4. Scam color run race event

Short distance races known as color runs are becoming more popular, but scammers are ruining it with fake ads. A scammer in the Lansing area advertised that there was going to be a color run in the city with two more in nearby towns. In order to participate, runners must register and submit a registration fee. This kind of run is becoming the rage and there are thousands of running enthusiasts who are eager to participate. A scammer posted an advertisement and collect registration fees from the runners, but when they showed up for the run, they discovered that there were no events scheduled and they had been duped out of the money they submitted for registration.

5. New craigslist money scam

Maryville resident Michelle Rex listed a tanning bed for sale on Craigslist. She was asking $700. She received a text from a number with a Vermont area code inquiring about the bed. They told her that they would send an agent to pick it up after she received a certified check. The scammers sent the check by FedEx but it was made out for $2,100. She suspected it might be a scam so she checked it out. Sure enough, the check was fraudulent and wasn’t worth the paper that it was written on. If she had followed the instructions to deposit the check and refund the excess to the scammers, they would have gained access to her account when the check was returned. She narrowly escaped this vicious money scam.

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