Craiglist Rental Scam Hits Las Cruces

POSTED: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 10:33am

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 11:05pm

Three Las Cruces families have been scammed out of hundreds of dollars in the past few weeks, said Las Cruces Police.
The scam targets renters through posts on Craigslist, advertising properties in the area, then asking for electronic payment for the first month's rent.
Police say the scam perpetrators told their victims they were renting the properties while traveling on a mission in West Africa.
Police have the following tips to avoid becoming the victim of a scam:

1 Avoid engaging in a deal, or money transfer, when the only means of communication is conducted over the Internet or via e-mail.
2. Conduct a walk-through of the rental property and meet the landlord, or real estate agent, in person.
3. Review written rental agreements thoroughly prior to signing a contract or exchanging funds.
4. Beware if the property owner claims to be traveling, or is out of the country, and unable to meet in-person.

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