As the real estate market in Duluth and Superior heats up, so does the craigslist scams targeting desperate renters.  You may find a home on Craigslist that seems like a great deal.  It probably has a real estate sign in the yard and it most likely is vacant.  Unfortunately the old saying "If it's too good to be true, it probably is" applies.

Here's how it typically works. An ad on craigslist will have a home for rent that is usually a good deal. When someone sees it and reaches out to the landlord for information they will make up an excuse that they are out of town or had to move or something.  They'll tell you it can be yours if you make a security deposit upfront.  People so desperate for a good deal on a place to live will send a check out.  The check is cashed, they never hear from that person again.

Here's some tips.  Never put down a deposit before meeting in person and seeing the property.  If there is any question or something looks suspicious, call the real estate company's phone number listed on the sign and ask questions.  Most of the time these are vacant houses listed for sale and not for rent, but the scammers take the photos off the internet and put their own rental listing together.

Like I said earlier, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Especially when it comes to real estate.