Craigslist scam?
August 28, 2008 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Is this apartment ad on Craigslist a scam? It seems too good to be true of course, and it links to a suspicious-looking URL where they ask that interested people fax them a credit score.

I've been running into the more typical scams (unbelievably good deal, landlord in UK or Mali, will mail you the keys, etc) but this ad is the only one I've seen that asks you to send a credit score. Typically the landlord asks for an application fee so they can run a credit report. Would a legitimate apartment manager ever ask you to fax your credit score as your first contact with them?
posted by Tehanu to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Sounds like a scam, but you might call the HRA.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:46 AM on August 28, 2008

Best answer: Looks like a a scam trying to get you to use -- the person probably gets a referral amount for each person that signs up through their link. The fact that it lists no contact information for the apartment further supports this. Who would try to offer an apartment without offering contact information?
posted by nitsuj at 9:46 AM on August 28, 2008

Would a legitimate apartment manager ever ask you to fax your credit score as your first contact with them?

I'm not an expert, but I'm leaning towards NO FREAKING WAY!!!!!1! Every landlord I've ever known of waits for the application process. As you said, running credit checks isn't free, so why would they want to do it for a million people who might never even SEE the place?
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:47 AM on August 28, 2008

(well I guess you CAN get some credit info for free, but I think when professionals run a credit check they pay for it.)
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:48 AM on August 28, 2008

I'm sorry, I'm not making sense. They want YOU to get your own credit and fax it to them. So, best case, they are trying to get you to use that stupid website. But I'd think they just want your social and all your account numbers on one handy piece of paper.

As an aside, i am yet to see anyone on here ask "is it a scam?" and the answer be anything but "Abso-FREAKING-lutely!"
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:51 AM on August 28, 2008

Looks scammy to me. Flag that sh*t.
posted by camworld at 9:52 AM on August 28, 2008

Best answer: Oh yeah, and check out if you alter the offer number in the url:

An apartment in each major city...and a bunch of the photos are the same. Super-sketchy. I'd flag it on Craigslist if I were you. In fact, I might do it myself as well.
posted by ethorson at 9:55 AM on August 28, 2008

Best answer: It's 100% scam, I ran into one of these, and when I replied again to the e-mail address of the guy to say no, you can "get your credit report" and shove it, the address was gone.
posted by melvinwang at 9:57 AM on August 28, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, flagged. I hadn't tried changing the numbers in that URL, but a Google search of the phone number revealed a similar pattern.
posted by Tehanu at 10:00 AM on August 28, 2008

Well, since:

1) this ad links to an apartment in Washington DC at and offer1, offer2, offer3, and offer5 are for the geographically disparate locales of New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn respectively, and

2) each ad asks you to get your credit score from a particular source even though there are many different ways to find out your credit score, and

3) based on the number of ads I see for checking your credit score, going through the process is definitely a moneymaker for somebody, and

4) the "rental company" only request you to fax them your credit score number when you're done without sending any other confirmation, even though it would be easy to just make up a number...

I'm going to guess that Best 4 Rent is a scam to get people to check their buy their credit report.
posted by turaho at 10:03 AM on August 28, 2008

too slow
posted by turaho at 10:04 AM on August 28, 2008

They also list the same phone number in each of the ads: 206-426-4007. FWIW -- 206 area code is a Seattle, WA number.

As ethorson points out, they show, for example, the same living room photo for "your" D.C. apartment as they do for one in Boston.
posted by ericb at 10:06 AM on August 28, 2008

It is hilarious that the living room in Boston is the exact same living room in Washington DC.

What happened to the days when scam artists just, y'know, tried harder?
posted by turaho at 10:07 AM on August 28, 2008

too slow again!
posted by turaho at 10:07 AM on August 28, 2008

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