SIOUX CITY -- The Sioux City Police Department is warning of a rental scam on the classified advertising website Craigslist.
According to a press release from the SCPD, the department has received a number of complaints about the scam, which involves borrowing photos and information of houses that are on the market, and advertising the house as for rent.
The department advises people to watch for red flags in Craigslist rental listings, including poor grammar, a "landlord" being unwilling to talk on the phone (sometimes claiming to be deaf or having no access to a phone), and offering to mail a key upon receipt of payment.
The scammers may also claim the realtor selling the house has done a poor job and aren't aware that the house is actually for rent, to discourage prospective victims from contacting the real estate agency directly.
As a precaution, house-seekers are advised to deal locally with transactions, never send money for a rental to someone you haven't met in person and contact the police department if a scam is suspected.