"A Florida family appears to be the victim of a Craigslist rental scam, in which they rented a home that was not actually for rent. It was a bank-owned foreclosure that sat vacant for a few months, but someone reportedly advertised it for rent, eventually getting more than $2,000 in rent money from a woman and her boyfriend, WESH-TV reports.
The woman says she saw the three-bedroom house listed for $1,200 a month on Craigslist, so she contacted the landlord and took a tour of the property. She and her boyfriend signed a lease, paid $2,400 in cash and received a receipt for the transaction. A day after the woman and her baby moved in, a real estate agent came to show the house.
Gary Camarda, the real estate agent, told Orlando’s WESH-TV this happens often. “It goes on all the time. A house sits, like this house, for four months vacant. Somebody comes along, sees it, comes in, takes some pictures and puts an ad on Craigslist advertising it for rent,” Camarda told the TV station. “It’s disgusting. I can’t believe people are doing this to innocent people. This is a young couple with a baby.”
The family must vacate the home, and the woman said they lost all their money when they paid the false rent in cash. Craigslist can be a helpful resource for renters, but consumers should be sure to research the ads and browse with a bit of suspicion. There are certainly good deals to be had, but you should look at rental rates in the area and be wary of a landlord demanding a large cash payment upfront."
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