The crooks have a scam that is not unique and actually has been around for many years. The difference is that the crooks are using the Internet, mainly Craigslist, to rent homes that they do not own.  The scam is fairly simple and one that victims can be easily suckered into. A home is advertised on Craigslist for a price that is lower than lower than what rent is being charged for other homes. All the victim has to do is to send a security deposit, first and last months rent, and the owner will send you the keys. The bad guys even post pictures of the residence and naturally it looks great and the rent is cheap.

According to one article it also stated that:

“I think it’s a variation of the many Internet schemes that try to defraud people,” said the OPD spokeswoman. “There are different ways popping up all the time.”

Scroble said the best defense against these sorts of Internet scams is using common sense.

Take the rental scam, for example.

Scroble said most rental agreements aren’t done sight unseen.

Although OPD has special fraud investigators for such crimes, the work is difficult, often because the scammers are in other countries, making them almost immune to prosecution.

For James Lovett, Estep’s house was just what he was looking for.

“It was beautiful. It was everything I wanted,” he said.

But the scam artists don’t just rent homes. They also buy items on Craigslist as well. Here is another scam:

The woman said she sold a ring, which is worth $3,400, on to someone claiming to be from Des Moines Iowa, according to a Marion County Sheriff’s Office report.

The woman said the buyer was supposed to forward $1,600 to her PayPal account. She said Tuesday morning she saw the $1,600 pending in the account, so she sent the item via FedEx. But the $1,600 was no longer there when she checked again Tuesday night.

The woman said she e-mailed the buyer and warned him that she would notify authorities if he did not send the money, the report stated.

The buyer replied bluntly: You’ve been scammed. He said the address and the e-mail account were not his and that he only uses them to scam people.

What types of scams are you aware of?  Share your experience, knowledge and thoughts on how others have been the victims of scam artists.

Comments welcome.

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