Sent to you by Chris Hunter via Google Reader:
We all know Craigslist, while handy, is home to more than a few scammers—even if you're searching for an apartment. Chris Morran over at the Consumerist goes through five warning signs that a rental listing is a scam.
Most of them are things that would throw up at least a yellow flag, but Morran discusses why scammers use these techniques, and how to watch our for similar ones. For example, if they have gibberish for an email address, it's probably to stay under cover:
Since the listing doesn't give a phone number, the only way to find out more is to contact the poster by e-mail. You can't necessarily tell by e-mail posted on the listing page, but when the other person writes back and he's using an e-mail that looks like it's been through the consonant grinder—"kydixororaqep" is a name that was actually attached to one e-mail we saw—you're likely dealing with someone using auto-generated e-mail accounts so as to make things harder to trace.
The other signs generally fall under the "too good to be true" banner we've talked about before—like absurdly low rent or a credit check where it's "okay if you have bad credit"—but they're handy to know. Check out the full article over at the Consumerist for more.
5 Warning Signs That a Craigslist Rental Listing Is Probably a Scam | The Consumerist