Jayson Fallis and his Craigslist scams – be careful, other similar Craigslist apartments scams are on the rise!

Jayson Fallis has ripped off numerous people with apartment rental scams in Salem Massachusetts.

You wouldn’t think people would stoop so low, but it is happening and more often then you think.  From Portland Oregon to Salem Massachusetts and just about everywhere in between, scammers are using Craigslist to reach unsuspecting prospective renters and steal their hard earned deposit money and first months rent.

How do they do it?  Well, you can read about Jayson Fallis and you will get a pretty good idea of how it is done, but there are numerous variants of this apartment rental scam, so it might be slightly different.  He used an apartment that he was renting so it would look legitimate.  He knew every room dimensions, closet sizes and everything, plus by being a valid renter he had access and a key (this, however, made him extremely easy to catch – many other similar scams on Craigslist have gone unsolved).

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He used his ownership (by way of rental) to fleece unsuspecting potential renters 1 by 1 of as much money as he could get before getting caught.  Police estimate he took over $10,000 from people that were looking to rent the apartment.  He used fake lease agreements and then took their money and ran with it.  The police eventually found the scumbag, Mr. Jayson Fallis, curled up in a fetal position in a closet hiding from the police at his girlfriends house.

The sad thing is that they most likely won’t be able to recover much of the victim’s monies that Mr. Fallis stole.  In cases like this the scumbag, Mr. Fallis, has no assets and is basically worthless.  The courts and/or judge may order him to payback restitution, but you will never see it.  After a certain amount of time the perp is let loose from jail (as they cannot keep him in their indefinitely unless they can prove he murdered someone or he is a terrorist – then the Patriot Act and some folks in black suits like the Secret Service could arrange for an extended stay in Guantanamo Bay) and he will inevitably leave the state to go elsewhere and eventually the judgement will become forgotten and or barred by the statute of limitations.

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Now, Mr. Fallis’s crime here is the hardest of the Craigslist apartment or landlord scams to spot at the onset, but it is the easiest for the police to catch as they can quickly find the landlord and determine who the scumbag renter is and where to find them (Mr. Fallis rented the apartment in his real name and listed his girlfriend’s address on the application (what a dumbass).

Other scams could involve renting out someone else’s apartment or one to which they don’t have a lease.  Usually these just require a little due diligence on the part of the prospective renter.  Never rent anything that the landlord can’t show you.  If they say something like they were in a bad accident and they want you to mail them the deposit and first months rent and they will mail you the keys – that is a scam 100%.

No landlord that I have ever even heard of rents in this fashion.  They all will be there in person to witness your signing the rental agreement.  They also will need to show you the house or apartment and so on.  If it sounds too good to be true, guess what?  It usually is.  If the rent is too low be cautious.  If the supposed landlord is too eager to rent to you that should be a red flag.

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Yes, there are landlords that have been hurt by this recession and that need to rent out their property fast, but they may also be about to go under and then you could find a foreclosure coming and you being put out on the street with an unenforceable contract.  Do your homework and ask questions.  In Mr. Fallis’s case the best way to find out would have been to look up the actual property owner through an online search of the property tax rolls for Salem Massachusetts.

Just about every county now allows online access to their property tax records for home addresses.  You can look up who it is paid under and then contact them to make sure the person trying to rent to you is legitimate.  If they have an LLC or corporation then it only takes one step farther – look the LLC up at the Secretary of the State or similar (where they license LLCs and corporations) and contact the owner/president.

Remember, due diligence will help you avoid getting ripped off by a scumbag like Jayson Fallis on Craigslist. Besides, be careful on Craigslist anyway – I bought a Shaun T. Insanity dvd workout set and none of the DVDs worked.

Tags: apartment rental, , , Craigslist scams, , , , , , Jayson Fallis, MA, Massachusetts, , , renting, renting scam, Salem, , ,

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