Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns area consumers to use caution when looking into rental properties available on Craigslist.A St. Louis woman told BBB she lost money to a thief while trying to rent a property she saw listed on the popular website. In a separate case, a St. Louis man said his home was listed for rent without his authorization on Craigslist just days after he listed the house for sale.BBB previously warned consumers about this scheme, which has been circulating for years. Potential renters are asked to fill out a rental agreement and to wire money to the so-called “owner” and to pay a processing fee. The “owner” tells the prospective renter to ignore any “for sale” signs that may be posted and asks for money for a deposit.Michelle Corey, BBB St. Louis president and CEO, said it is important for renters to do a complete background check into the property before entering into any lease agreement.“A legitimate landlord is going to meet you at the property, let you take a look at the living space and answer any questions you might have,” Corey said. “If the owner of the property refuses to meet with you, that’s a clue the listing could be fraudulent.”The St. Louis woman told BBB she saw a listing on Craigslist for a “charming three-bedroom ranch” near Willmore Park for $600 a month. She said she went to look at the outside of the residence and was excited about the prospect of moving from her current residence on St. Louis’ south side.She told BBB she sent the “owner” $150 via Moneygram for a processing fee. She said she realized she had been duped when the person claiming to rent her the property told her he would send her rental documents and keys to the house for an additional $300.“It was too good to be true,” the woman told BBB. “I told my landlord that I was moving and everything.”A St. Louis man told BBB he was surprised to see his residence, located in the 5700 block of Westminster Place, listed as being for rent on Craigslist. The man said he had just listed the residence for sale two days before the home was posted on Craigslist.The man told BBB the Craigslist post used photos and included descriptions of the residence that he had posted in his sale listing. The home was being offered for rent for $700 a month with a rent-to-own option.When the owner contacted the imposter, the imposter wrote back: “I'm giving the rent out low because I just need someone to help take care of the house. It's not about the money. It's about finding someone that will take care of the house like they own it.”The home owner told BBB it took several days to get Craigslist to pull the ad. The man said he received calls from prospective renters and one even visited the property and asked his wife questions about the property.BBB offers the following tips for consumers responding to ads for rental properties: Never pay any money without first inspecting the home carefully and knowing exactly who owns, and who is leasing, the property.Never wire money to a stranger.Do not surrender any credit information or other personal information until you have proof that the owner is legitimate. If you have doubts, ask for proof of ownership.Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Confirm that the owner is giving you his or her real name by asking for references and contacting them.If you do make an advance payment, pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the charge.Go to www.bbb.org to search for BBB Business Profiles or find contact info for your local BBB. St. Louis area media contacts: Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), email@example.comShellie Kreter, PR & Communications Manager, (314) 584-6723 or (314) 348-5451 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.orgDon O’Brien, Investigator, (314) 584-6785, email@example.comColumbia media contact: Sean Spence, Columbia Regional Director, (573) 886-8965, firstname.lastname@example.orgCape Girardeau media contact: Joey Keys, Cape Girardeau Regional Director, (573) 803-3191, email@example.comQuincy media contact: Mara Clingingsmith, BBB Quincy Regional Director, (217) 209-3972 or (217) 242-6272 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.orgSpringfield media contact: Jon Anfinson, BBB Springfield Regional Director, (417) 380-5074, email@example.comAbout BBBBBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information.