As the US property market tightens, more and more people are falling victim to rental scams.

Scammers' tactics include listing legitimate rental offers on sites such as Craigslist, offering lower rents. Interested renters would wire their deposits to the scammers, without the apartment owners' knowledge. The money would never be seen again.

By the beginning of October, the number of rental scam complaints nationwide had risen to nearly 5,500. At this pace, 2010's final tally could very well overcome last year's record number of 7,225.  

Experts warn renters to be extra vigilant, advising them never to wire funds for a place they've never seen to people they haven't met.

Source: Wall Street Journal