A Craigslist ad said a local Salinas home was for rent and several people were interested. The only problem, the woman who owns the home had no idea. The homeowner said someone posted her house as a rental on Craigslist as a scam to steal money from people. The house was put up for rent on Craigslist, but when people would knock on the door, they would find out it was all just a scam.
Lorena Ruelas fell victim to the scam and says, "Just went to my car and started crying all the way to Marina. How can people do this, because right now I'm going to be homeless Sunday night because I have no where to go because I was expecting to get the house."
Ruelas is devastated she fell for a scam, but grateful she decided to check out the house before sending any money. And the homeowner, she was shocked when unexpected visitors came peering through her windows knocking on her door asking if the house was for rent.
"I'm a little nervous, didn't see the ad on craigslist, but the emails they sent me say the home was supposed to be abandoned and this person is just telling them they can come look in the windows and check out," said Sarah Ransford who owns the home posted on Craigslist.
Even though part of one email says, "the keys and documents will be send to you via fed ex to the address you have sent to me." A second email adds, "I have to move quickly down to Africa to have my company set up."
"I thought he was sincere cause he said he was looking for the right person someone who would take good care of the property," said Ruelas. As for Ransford, she has a warning.
"It came out of no where, I think especially if you just bought a home or you're selling a home be on alert because they're getting their information from the MLS listings."
The posting is gone from Craigslist and the homeowner called police.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010
Those who follow this blog will recognize the familiar warning flags (move quickly to Africa, will send FedEx, etc.) in the content of this but I thought it funny the scammers have taken to Craigslist to see if they can find any victims there. But it's the same format we see over and over again here. Be forewarned!