Looking for a rental property on Kauai?
Searching on www.Craigslist.com, the popular website which offers free online classified advertising?
If so, you need to be aware of a not-so-new rental scam that’s recently targeted people looking to rent on Kauai.
The scam works like this…you find a nice property for rent on Craigslist that is advertised for an unbelievably low price.
It’s such a great deal it sounds almost too good to be true so you quickly send an email to the email address posted on the ad inquiring about the availability of the rental.
The so called owner/landlord responds explaining they are out of the country, usually in Nigeria, and they often say they are there on a missionary trip.
After asking you for some basic personal information via email they then ask that you wire a deposit and first months rent to them in Nigeria and once received they promise to send you the keys to the home.
Once you wire the money, you wait for the keys which never arrive.
You attempt to email the so called owner/landlord but they never respond.
As a Realtor I regularly use Craigslist to post my legitimate rentals and also properties I have listed for sale.
Unbeknown to me, one of the perpetrators of this rental scam recently copied the photos from one of my legitimate listings of a home I have listed for sale in Kapaa and created a fraudulent rental listing using my photos and verbiage about the property.
After discovering the fraudulent posting unfortunately I have since found out that some people were scammed by this ad wiring their hard earned money to Nigeria thinking they were securing a nice home to rent.
If you are looking for rental property via online classified ads be cautious, ask lots of questions of the landlord, and if they insist you must wire money out of the country beware!
That should be a red flag that the ad is probably not a legitimate rental.
Also if you know anyone looking for rental property the best thing you can do is to tell them about this scam and make sure they are aware so they don’t become the latest victim.
If you have been a victim of this scam yourself you should notify local police and also report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, www.ic3.gov.
If you would like help from a Realtor in finding a rental on Kauai or confirming if a rental you have found is a legitimate rental, contact me via email at Kymry@SleepingGiant.com or by phone at 808-635-1490.