Big Island Police Warn of Craigslist Rental Scam

*Note* I will be contacting the owner of Craigslist shortly via Facebook notifying him of this.  We will see if it gets taken down.

Big Island police are warning the public about a rental scam using a popular online free classified advertising service.

An unidentified person posted an ad on Craigslist offering a house for rent on Haili Street in Hilo with attractive terms. The ad says utilities are included in the $1,000 rent and cats and dogs are welcome. When an interested renter responds, the scammer claims to be out of the country for several years and looking for a responsible renter to take care of the house.

The house listed actually is in escrow and not for rent.

Although Craigslist warns users to be leery of landlords who are out of the country and not available to meet the renter, this type of scam has cheated prospective renters out of rent money and security deposits in other jurisdictions, said Lieutenant Gregory Esteban from the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Section.

“We are aware of similar scams like this on the mainland, where criminals prey on individuals looking for a reasonably-priced house,” Esteban said. “We don’t want our residents to fall victim to this kind of scam.”

One Response

  1. MOST Big Island Hawaii rentals, on craigslisthawaii, are fraudulent, in the sense that they way overcharge, they discriminate by age/education, they expect you to do yard work and cat care for just a room (overpriceed at 575/mo, and so on. I sent many listings to BBB and a few to Mayor Kenoi. Hawaii Countym (Big Is.) does zero toprotect tenants. Rental listings should have to be state/county permitted, and paying GET taxes. However, NO one monitors, so tenants are ripped off BIG time on Big Is. Even male landlords use eviction threats as a sexual pressure on single female tenants. The Big Is. Polioce do zero about violence against women!

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