There are lots of rental scams out there!
Please feel free to reach out to me if you or someone you know is looking for a rental. Before you send the landlord any money I can try to see if the recipient is the actual owner of the property.
I just had a situation where someone created an email address based on my seller's name and then posted the home for rent on Trulia. The home is under contract and the scammed person already signed the lease. Of course the property was reported and removed from Trulia, but many people have lost thousands of dollars to scammers.
Usually I've seen this happen with homes that are already non-owner occupied (legitimate rentals) and likely vacant.
Let me know how I can help.