People are creating fake ads using real listings via Craigslist and other similar websites! Unfortunately, this is happening all over the place and has been happening for quite some time. I remember when I was looking for places in Iowa 10 years ago, I saw a ridiculous amount of fake ads. I had to remind myself, if it sunds too good to be true, chances are it is! .

Rochester is a prime resident location with the Mayo Clinic. Less than a month ago, residents across the country found out they were to move to Rochester to begin their next chapter. Can you imagine looking for a place in a city you've never been to that you know virtually nothing about?

Also, it's April. The school year is winding down. If you're a student on the lookout for your first place, use extra caution when looking for rentals online.

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota has issued a warning to help keep us safe

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR: 

  • Low prices! The BBB says scammers will often list a rental for a very low price to lure in victims.
  • The landlord is not located in Rochester and prefers to communicate solely via email.
  • Grammatical or spelling errors – often a sign the ad may have been created by overseas scammers
  • Requests to wire money. If they ask you to use services such as Western Union or MoneyGram, or if you’re told the deposit or rent needs to be paid with a Green Dot MoneyPak card. The BBB says any money sent via these means is extremely difficult to trace, and there is little chance – if any – of getting your money back.
  • They ask for money BEFORE you meet the landlord.

Listen to James Rabe weekday mornings from 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM and every weekday afternoon from 2p to 6p on 103.9 The Doc.