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RI renters warned against Craigslist housing scam

April 27, 2012
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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The state attorney general is warning Rhode Islanders of a housing scam on Craigslist that tries to lure people into providing personal financial information on phony rental agreements.

Peter Kilmartin says scam artists are apparently "cloning" real properties from real estate sites and listing them on Craigslist at reasonable rents to get people's attention.

Potential renters communicate with the so-called "landlord" through email. They are asked to provide personal information like a Social Security number and fill out rental forms with a down payment paid by credit card or electronically from a bank account.

Kilmartin says if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

His office says it learned of the scam after a case of attempted identity theft of a local reporter.

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