Realtors warn home buyers of Craigslist house rental scam
For Jack Storrie, a home on Val Mar Drive seemed perfect for himself, his wife and their two dogs.
“It’s a great neighborhood, it’s a wonderful location,” Storrie said.
But for the listing price of $1,100 per month on Craigslist, it also seemed too good to be true. And it turned out that it was. The person behind the ad asked them to wire $800.
“That’s when we really started to think something was wrong,” Storrie said.
Storrie caught a break because his initial wire did not go through.
The person responsible for the ad did not respond after WINK News reached out.
Realtor Kari Faught with Realty Rents and Sales confirmed the ad is a scam.
“They’re stealing my ad and committing a crime using my company’s name,” Faught said.
The contact on the ad even matches the name listed on the Lee County property appraiser site.
Faught helped the Storrie’s rent the home for its actual listing price of $2,000 per month. But the fake ad remains on Craigslist even after countless attempts to have it removed.
“I have reported it, my agent that had the listing for sale reported it, my agent that had the listing for rent reported it, the owner reported it,” Faught said.
Faught adds that you shouldn’t purchase or rent a home if you have never visited the actual property. She says if possible, send money through a realtor’s website.
For the Storrie’s, they hope the crooks don’t fool anyone else.
“They don’t know if that money they took from us was the last $800 we had and they didn’t care, and what can you say about someone like that?” Storrie said.
Officials say if you have questions about a potential realtor or purchasing a home, you can check if the company is legitimate through sites like “Sun Biz” and “My Florida”.