Desirable Craigslist rental post turns out as scam

Posted at 7:20 PM, Aug 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-20 19:20:50-04

PRINCE GEORGE, Va. (WTVR)—An imposter takes their scam to Craigslist, posting a house for rent and possibly getting hundreds of dollars in cash.

It was a deal many people were after. A deal so good, that some headed to the house to take a look. 

And in the end, the posting on Craigslist was gone, along with the hopes of at least a half-dozen people.

But the owner, Charles Gunther is worried that someone may have paid an imposter $600-$800 dollars for a deposit on his rental home.

Gunther, who had never heard of Craigslist until this weekend, remembers the call on Saturday.

The woman on the other end said she saw the post for a three bedroom, two-car garage home in Prince George, for $800 dollars, utilities included.

But she did a little research to discover the same home in a realtor’s book listing for $1250 dollars and called wanting to know about the price difference.

She wouldn't be the only one inquiring.

The renters called their landlord to complain of a steady stream of potential renters, knocking on the door to see the house; all of them finding the listing on Craigslist.

Monday morning, a Colonial Heights wife and mother of a seven-year old, emailed back and forth with the person who posted the home for rent on Craigslist.

She was told that for a $600 dollar deposit today, she could have the keys.

But thinking it was too good to be true, she and her daughter drove to the house to take a look.

Spotting the CBS 6 camera out in front of the house she rolled down the window to ask, "It’s a scam, isn't it?" and have the owner say, “Yes it is.”

The home isn't up for rent until September, and the owner said that until then, he'll be keeping a close eye on Craigslist.

Craigslist has a lengthy disclaimer cautioning people about making purchases.

Local law enforcement said they have worked closely with Craigslist in the past and they cooperate with investigations.