]]>One of the most pervasive scams is a keys-for-cash gambit. Carried out online where almost all rental transactions begin these days, this ploy separates would-be renters from their money before they so much as set foot inside a dwelling. In this scheme, information and pictures from legitimate rental or sales listings are lifted from other sites and reposted under another name at an eye-poppingly low rent.

In another case…

… someone claiming to have relocated to London advertised Ms. Seidner’s one-bedroom apartment on Craigslist.
At least one prospective renter was induced to fill out an application
and send personal information before becoming suspicious of a request
for a $200 deposit to borrow the keys.

“Two people who contacted me about it had Googled the address of my apartment and found it listed for sale,” Ms. Seidner said.