HOW TOSTAY SAFE
ACCORDING TO Jerad Albrecht, spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the agency hears about such rental scams occasionally but keeps no formal statistics on them. This summer, an informal review by the magazine identified two such scams out of approximately 500 house ads on Craigslist, listing for less than $1,200 a month. To avoid pitfalls, Albrecht recommends dealing “locally and meeting face-to-face with the other party in a public space.” Don’t wire money to strangers, he says, and never rent a property sight unseen. Another handy way to avoid scams is to Google properties and see if they have been listed elsewhere for different prices.