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Craigslist scam forces single mother to search for shelter

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A single mother recently moved into a home on the 11000 block of Cherry Tree Way. She found the home on Craigslist and paid the rent required.

Shortly after moving in the home, she received a knock on the door. Standing in her doorway was a strange man who informed her the home was not for rent, and that he was the owner.

According to police, a con artist took a picture of a home for sale and placed it on Craigslist pretending it was for rent.

Realtors have complained about this scam.

In May, 24-Hour News 8 informed viewers of a similar scam. In that case, a realtor went undercover after learning someone was trying to rent out a home for sale. Because of those efforts, police were able to make an arrest in that case.

There are several tips renters are expected to use to protect themselves. For starters, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” said a spokesperson at MIBOR.

Renters are also encouraged to use reputable sources when renting homes such as using the county clerk’s office to verify ownership. Finally, if someone ask you to pay rent without seeing the property and signing a lease, don’t do it.

Renters are also encouraged to visit the property they are interested in renting.

“I just think that it is horrible, there are people now that don’t care about anyone else but themselves,” said a neighbor near the home where the latest scam happened.

Police have not made any arrest in this investigation. If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477).