KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Nick Wright and his family recently moved from Connecticut to East Tennessee and found the perfect short-term rental house.
“We are expanding our business to Tennessee and we needed a temporary place to stay. So, we found the right price range and different locations and that’s how we settled here,” said Wright.
He searched for rentals online and secured the property through a legitimate company. The house lived up to its listing.
But it turns out a rental house listing on Craigslist showed a picture of a different house with the exact same address as the house the Wrights are renting. The house on Craigslist was a three-bedroom, two-bath home renting for $950 a month with a $950 security deposit.
Tony Binkley with the Better Business Bureau said that ad was a scam.
“The goal is to get somebody to give them their first months’ rent and a security deposit but it’s not even their house to rent,” said Binkley.
The Better Business Bureau offers these tips to avoid being scammed.
Watch out for deals that are too good to be true, offering low rent, extra amenities and a great location.
Search online for similar properties. If you find the same ad listed in other cities, that’s a red flag.
And see the property in person.
“If you can’t look at it in person have somebody you trust look at it in person,” said Binkley. “You just can’t believe what you see online, especially on Craig’s List with these rentals.
Nick says his careful, exhaustive search for a rental home paid off.
“You just have to drill down-in and actually talk to the people that own them because there are a lot of duplicates out there.”