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Scam of Week: Renter beware, how crooks steal your deposit money

Published: May. 18, 2017 at 5:27 PM CDT
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Just in time for moving season, the crooks want to steal your hard earned deposit money.

Swindlers take a legit listings and use the copy and paste keys.

Marlin Kroenke and his family needed a home, stat. He received an email about this three bedroom home ... in northwest Springfield.

He drove by and wanted to take a look inside.

"It was when he kept telling me he didn't have a key to the house an access to look into it," he said.

Kroenke did his homework and checked property records. Names did not match.

I knew right then it was a phony ad. I'm sure he would have took the deposit and first months rent and I'd never hear back from him," he said.

"I definitely didn't post it for two hundred dollars cheaper," said Kyla Knight.

Knight owns this home in Republic. She's looking for a new tenant.

A crook copied her listing.

"The phone number listed was not my phone number. They had my pictures. They had the exact word for word description I had put. That's what I'm afraid of ... people are going to give a deposit to someone who isn't the owner," she said.

At Knight's request, Craigslist just removed this bogus post.

Here's how to spot this scam.

If the rent is really low -- it's too good to be true.

Excuses for walkthroughs. Crooks will dodge open house questions. Remember, landlords want good tenants. They want to meet you in person just as much as you want to view the property.

If you're unsure, check property records. That's public information.