On Your Side: Renter beware, know about this scam

Published: May. 20, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT|Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 6:28 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - There’s a scam that always makes the rounds this time of the year when people are moving.

People search on websites like Craigslist for rent listings. Most are real, but not all. A Springfield woman nearly lost $600. She is sharing her story so it won’t happen to you.

What a deal. $600 a month for a three bedroom in west Springfield.

“All the utilities were included,” said Carrie McCormick.

She was hoping to move into the home. She responded to an advertisement on Craigslist. The so-called Landlord sent her an application. It asks: Do you agree to make a down payment before you move in?

“It was from a preacher. So I trusted what he said,” McCormick said.

In this email, the crook typed: It’s against my doctrine to rip people off.

McCormick was asked to send a $600 deposit. But she could not view the inside of the home.

“That put the alarm bells up,” she said.

Here’s how the scam works. Criminals take real ‘for sale’ listings. They copy the photos and description then create a bogus ‘for rent’ ad.

Thankfully McCormick did not send any money.

Never send money without seeing the inside of the rental. If there’s a ‘For Sale’ sign in the yard -- that’s a red flag. Research the Landlord. See if there’s an LLC tied to the rental. Make sure they’re legit.

If the price seems to good to be true, you know the rest.

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