On Your Side: Springfield tenants lose $2k in rent scam

Published: May. 14, 2020 at 6:31 PM CDT
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A Springfield couple thought they hit the jackpot when looking for a home to rent. Now they're out nearly $2,000 with no place to live.

It's a three-bedroom, two-bath home on Springfield's south side. Katelynn Bratcher and her boyfriend thought they'd be moved in by now, but it was all a lie.

"It's been a nightmare that's for sure," she said.

They came across a bogus 'for rent' listing on Craigslist. The post was recently removed. Katelynn and her boyfriend signed a lease.

"When we were looking it over, it all looked pretty legit," she said.

It has their name, move-in date and the owner's signature. There's even a photo ID. On Your Side did some checking, Greene County property records show that's not who owns the home.

Katelynn and her boyfriend transferred $1950. Then went to meet the landlord. They waited an hour and then called the sheriff's office.

"It can target anybody, but I think it's targeting anyone looking for a deal that they may not otherwise be able to afford this 3-bed, 2-bath rental at this normal rate which is pretty high," said Whitney Shoffner, realtor.

Never send money before looking at a home. Do your homework before submitting a rental application.

Katelynn and her boyfriend say they filled out a form asking for their social security number. They're now putting fraud alerts on their credit. ID theft can follow you for years.