Scams Plague Local Rental Market

Renters and landlords both feeling heat

Overseas scammers are using the promise of low-priced apartments and summer rentals to trick people out of their money in San Diego.

Ron LaChance said he is being bombarded with scam artist e-mails on Craigslist.

When LaChance advertised for a roommate on Craigslist, he received 13 offers from people overseas, each wanting him to cash a check and wire them money. When he looked into a low-priced La Jolla apartment he found online, he discovered the address didn't exist.

Fraud investigators say that scammers use the Internet to trick people out of their money and hide their own identity. An easy warning: Don't trust anyone who asks you to wire them money with no face-to-face meeting.

The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on bogus offers of get-rich quick schemes and stimulus money frauds.

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