Craigslist scammers target property in Naples
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
Buyers beware! Craigslist property scammers are at it again.
A Michigan man said he thought he was getting a great deal when he paid nearly six thousand dollars for a week long Easter vacation stay at a 6 bedroom, 13 bathroom beach front home in Naples.
" We've been coming down to Florida the last ten years for the Easter vacation and never had this problem renting before." Ronald Plummer said.
Ronald Plummer said he found the listing on Craigslist, just like he's done several times before. He and his wife talked to the seller times on the phone, signed a contract and thought it was a done deal. But, came to find out it was all one big scam.
"My wife called me and said hey I've been emailing this guy for the last two days, he never responded back. The phone number we talked to him on several times now says the owner of the number is no longer receiving incoming calls." Plummer said.
Naples Police Lt. John Barkley said these scams are not uncommon in Southwest Florida and these Craigslist crooks are hard to catch.
"Everything over the internet is anonymous they're doing something like this, they're probably set up with bogus email addresses and everything else. It's just easy to hide their tracks behind them." Lt. Barkley said.
So what can you do if you're looking for a place online? Real estate expert Tiffany McQuaid said don't ignore the red flags. She said if a deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is.
" Anybody who is asking you to wire funds, be careful of that. Be careful of asking for certified funds, anything that would not be traceable." Real estate expert, Tiffany McQuaid said.
"What they're doing is stealing photos of active listings on the market and they're re-posting those as rentals at a very very low price." McQuaid said.
Renter, Ronald Plummer said after dealing with the Craigslist mess, he is still waiting to see if his credit card company will give him his money back. Detectives at the Naples Police Department are still investigating the incident.