Rental Scam Warning From the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office

Press release from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office:

District Attorney DA HumboldtThe Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office recently received notification from the Humboldt Association of Realtors about a possible rental scam. We are sharing this information to help citizens avoid being defrauded.

In the example cited by the Humboldt Association of Realtors, a Humboldt County home on Craig’s List under the heading “House on Farm Land” was listed for rent at $875/month with an $875 deposit. The listing included both interior and exterior photographs, a rental application, and a backstory about a family being transferred overseas. Interested parties were encouraged to contact the property owner at phone numbers outside the United States. With this legitimate-looking offer, the scammers were hoping to receive rent and a deposit for a home that either does not exist or that they do not own.

We encourage people to be cautious in real estate dealings to avoid scams; warning signs include:
1. The offer appears too good to be true
2. Communication is only offered through email (usually Hotmail or Yahoo) or international phone numbers.
3. You do not get timely answers to questions asked via phone or email.
4. People making the offer indicate they are out of state or even out of the country.
Finally, we suggest that to protect yourself in real estate dealings, always do an additional check of the availability of the property you’re interested in with either the local realtors association or a professional property management company.



  • I have been trying to find me a little 2 br. that will except cats, place since October . The first time I ran into the scam, there was listed on craigslist a 2 br. place with a porch that excepted cats and was in my price range of $700 – $850. I got so excited. My heart started beating so fast that I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I called my daughter and my son about it so they could get all the info. I needed to fill out an app. God I was so happy. I was dancing around and around. Then both my son and daughter called me and told me it was a scam. My heart fell. I hurt so bad because I haven’t been that happy since my great granddaughter was born. God it made me hurt. Anyway I came across 3 other places since that time that were scams. They were the only places that were on craigslist that I could afford. All I wanted was a little 2 br. place. 1 br. that I could use for working on furniture. A little yard for my cats and if God welling a porch. Every home should have a porch. I sold my trailer to make this move, and to only run into places I could afford, that were a scam, were heart breaking, especially since I only have until the end of this month to be moved. I was so happy to see someone alerting people about these scams. Hopefully they won’t be on craigslist anymore.

    • Welcome to Scumboldt! Where everyone is a criminal and everything is a scam!

      • Don’t forget the population of negative, hateful, people in the county. Hopefully they go out and volunteer. Do something to make this world a better place. Humboldt is my home. My ancestors were born here. I will die here. I love Humboldt.

    • The word you want is Accept, not Except big difference in the meaning of them!!!

    • If you see scam ads on Craigslist, click the ‘prohibited’ button at the top left of the page. Forward the ad to someone you know that’s aware of the scams and have them click it, too.
      It takes at least 2 clicks from different IP addresses to remove the scam ad (though not always; see more info at the link below).

      Craigslist used to be more on top of the scams. Now, the ‘probihited’ button is the only sure way to get them removed and it takes the different IP clicks to remove them.
      CL doesn’t actually do it; it’s automated.

      • Ad that have text with website addresses photoshopped on the photos of the supposed rental are most often scams. Don’t bother responding; they are too good to be true. Click ‘prohibited’ and keep looking for legit housing.

        Another way to check on possible scam ads that have photos:
        drag and drop the photo into Google Images and see what comes up.
        A lot of scammers grab photos of actual ‘for sale’ properties from realtor’s sites and use them in the scam ads on CL.

  • i saw an ad like that for a place up near ettersburg. the thing that tipped me off to the scam was where it claimed”easy access to public transportation”.

  • Mr. Dan Fuller thank you for correcting my spelling. I won’t make that mistake again, but if I do hopefully you will correct me. Thank you again.

  • The shit people come up with to scam,use your knowledge towards an honest living.or the next new thing,or an invention!!don’t be a John ford,SCAMMER

  • Don’t always trust the “Professional Property Management” companies either. Those application fees really add up to a whole bunch of money.

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