Individuals of all different financial and educational backgrounds fall prey to rental scams every year. Unfortunately, there are career scammers who make their living off the misfortunes of others by advertising real property that they do not own. Rental scams are a major problem in the United States, as well as many other parts of the world; widespread economic difficulties and natural disasters have only worsened the problem.
Rental scammers have become increasingly cunning and creative in their strategies to lure potential victims, although the specific techniques they employ can vary widely. They sometimes take pictures of other people’s property, claim to be the owner and request a security deposit from interested parties. Usually the ads are posted online on social sites such as Craigslist; since those sites have a large audience from all over the world, scammers feel they are less likely to be caught and identified.