COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying a man and a woman who detectives want to question in connection with a rental scam in Golden Gate Estates.
The pair was caught on camera at a Collier County Publix. Deputies say they go by the aliases Chris and Janet. They're wanted in connection with a Craigslist rental scam.
On July 24th, a woman in her 30's answered a Craigslist ad for a rental home on 43rd Avenue NE in Golden Gate Estates.
The Publix on Collier Blvd. near Pine Ridge is where the suspects met the victim. The victim gave them $500 in cash and the suspects gave her house keys. The only problem Janet and Chris don't own the home. John Ackerman does. He's a snowbird and was in Maine while all of this was going on.
"My wife and I were delighted to get a house in a quiet neighborhood, well renovated, and then we received this shocking phone call from an individual who had actually leased our house," said Ackerman.
The Collier County Sheriff's Office said scams like this one are becoming more common.
"This unfortunately is a scam we are seeing now. It does happen and we tell people to do your homework," said Michelle Batten, Public Information Officer for the dept.
Ackerman said, "We do feel victimized, but its been a month and we are starting to get back to normal, but it did shake us up quite a bit."
Anyone with information regarding the identities of this man and woman asked to call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239.252.9300, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477 (TIPS).