Fort Myers Beach homeowner alarmed to find her home on Craigslist
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- A Fort Myers Beach homeowner never knows when she will get a knock on the door and she says it isn't easy explaining to people her home is not available to rent.
"The ad on Craigslist says this magnificent beach home is in a class by itself," said Elaine Morbi as she points to ad from Craigslist.
For Elaine Morbi, paradise is right outside her window, but she's not the only one attracted to her home's breathtaking view.
"My husband and I were here having coffee on a Sunday morning and the doorbell rang. It was a couple from Indiana," said Morbi.
The couple handed her a rental agreement which had Elaine's Fort Myers Beach address listed on it. The couple said they wanted to drop off a deposit and said they found her waterfront property up for rent on Craigslist. This is how Elaine learned her home is being used in a rental scam.
"I have no idea when people are going to be ringing our doorbell or who is going to be ringing our doorbell and what kind of state of mind they're going to be in ..they can be out thousands of dollars."
So Elaine played detective. She pretended to be interested in renting and she emailed the man who posted her home on Craigslist. It's what she got back that stunned her.
"This is the email I received from the man that's trying to rent me my own home. This is a picture of my house, the living area!"
Elaine thinks the pictures were stolen from a realtor-related website. She also points out an alarming detail in the ad.
"The ad states: the kitchen overlooks the Atlantic ocean. Well, we're not on the Atlantic ocean," said Morbi.
Fox 4 tried contacting the man using Elaine's address with the numbers listed in previous emails and ads, but the numbers did not work. Fox 4 also contacted Craigslist to see if they can take down the ad. We are waiting to hear back.
"Be careful of what you're dealing with and enter your own risk when you're using Craigslist," said Morbi.
Fox also called the Attorney General's office and is waiting for a call back. The Lee County Sheriff's Office is also looking into this.