Searching for an apartment can become a time-consuming activity, especially if you are looking for one that is inexpensive, pet-friendly, or furnished. If you also need an apartment that offers hardwood floors, a washer and dryer, or other amenities, your search for an apartment becomes even more involved and time consuming. One of the websites that apartment seekers frequent during their search is craigslist.com. You can search this site by city and state for the apartment that you need right from the comfort of your home. Since you can view numerous apartment listings online at the same time, you can reduce the time it takes to search for an apartment using craigslist.com.
Unfortunately, scam artists often make use of this website in order to cheat people and take their money under false pretenses Is there anything you can do to protect yourself against this type of fraud when searching on craigslist.com? The answer is yes; you certainly can practice a few simple strategies to help protect yourself against the potential for fraud while searching for an apartment on craigslist.com.
Fortunately, the majority of advertisers on craigslist.com are legitimate and honest. That being said, the need to protect your personal interests still exists. Follow each of these guidelines to help you determine the legitimacy of any offer to rent an apartment to you from this website or any other similar website.
Searching for an Apartment Online: Does It Exist?
Once you have an address for an apartment that you are interested in, you can visit maps, google.com and conduct a search for that location. This search will result in an image of the location for the property in question. You can also conduct a search for the address including the city and state to see what type of results come back for the property.
Searching for an Apartment Online: Email the Landlord
You can also determine quite a bit about the legitimacy of the offer to rent the apartment simply by emailing the individual several times. Many of the scammers on craigslist.com have poor grammar and spelling skills If the email is written with proper spelling and grammar, it is more likely that the individual is honestly trying to rent the apartment out to someone.
If the response to your email includes a link for you to click on or offers you a different website to use when searching for an apartment, you should be suspicious of this particular listing and move on to a different one. Even though this particular strategy isn't foolproof, it can be used in conjunction with all of your other strategies to discover the legitimacy of the apartment rental.
Searching for an Apartment Online: Make a Phone Call
You can also request a phone number (if one isn't listed) so that you can call and speak with the individual. Ask pertinent questions about the apartment to make sure that it fits your needs
If the number you are given is a landline, complete an online search and see what results come back. Is the phone number listed with the address in question or one nearby? Is it listed under the name of the individual who is renting the apartment?
Searching for an Apartment Online: Conduct a Simple Background Check
Although many people would consider the next tip as some type of creepy-stalking activity, you can complete an online search for the individual's full name. It is possible that the results will provide you with enough information to verify that the person is who he says he is For example, you may be trying to rent an apartment near a college so that you can attend classes while living off campus. If the individual states that he is a graduate student, it is more than likely that he is listed on several online sites for his scholarly publications or other academic interests. If your results verify this scenario, then you can rest assured that the individual truly is a graduate student.
Finally, take a friend or two and go visit the apartment to check it out. If you don't live in the area, see if you can find a friend of a friend who lives in that general location to look at the apartment for you. Once you are satisfied that everything is on the up-and-up regarding the apartment rental, you can move forward with any plans you have to sign a lease.
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