PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

Searching Craigslist for a two-bedroom apartment in Palm Springs, we came across several ads. We emailed and got a response requesting a $40 background check before we could schedule a walk-thru of the apartment.

Kelly McLean, vice president of McLean Company Rentals, said that's a big red flag.

"Before people see the property, that doesn't make sense," said McLean. "Any legitimate company, that's not something we ask for, an application fee of $30 to $40 is standard, not something you need before you view the property."

Here's what you should look out for.

"Look for key indicators, no phone numbers or email, or a person to talk to. If they're requiring money up front or asking for billing information, that's a big red flag," said McLean.

-Unless it's long term, avoid vacation rentals on Craigslist
-Police said never send money. Once you do, it's gone
-Do some investigating of your own
- Always report a scam

"One of the best things a renter can do is physically go see. Confirm the address see if there's signs showing it's for rent," said Sgt. Harvey Reed, of the Palm Springs Police Department.

"Craigslist is an open market place. It's free. You need to be aware there will be scams out there," said McLean.