Desperate rental market leads to housing scams

Features research led by Damon McCoy, professor of computer science and engineering at NYU Tandon.

As the summer season approaches, a proliferation of housing scams in the form of false online rental advertisements has caused headaches, dashed hopes and, in some cases, led to substantial loss of money for desperate workers and vacationers already saddled with the difficult task of navigating the summer rental market. A study done by NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering showed that Craigslist fails to identify more than half of the scam rental listings on the site’s pages and often lets suspicious postings linger for as long as 20 hours before removing them. The researchers estimate there are thousands of false housing advertisements on the website throughout the country.

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