Scammer attempts to rent home that’s already for sale

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Craigslist scam_342713

It’s not a new scam, but it’s not going away.

A local homeowner reached out to ABC27 because she wanted to make sure no one lost any money.

Eileen Norman is a realtor. She bought a home in Harrisburg six months ago to fix it up and resell it, but she recently received a call saying her house was also posted for rent on Craigslist.

“She informed me that a gentleman by the name of Steve, who would only correspond through email, told her to come walk around the house and peek through the windows,” said Eileen. “She then sent him a $1,000 deposit and $700 for the rent [and] he would overnight the keys.”

Steve told us the same thing when ABC27 emailed him about the property.

He told ABC27 that he got a new job and moved out of state. He said rent was $700 and the security deposit was $1,000.

When ABC27 asked for a walk through of the house, Steve said we could drive by and look through the windows.

He even said to ignore the for sale sign out front because he was “no longer dealing with the realtor.”

ABC27 took the story to the attorney general’s office.

As of now, the department hasn’t heard any complaints about the type of scam, but they are bracing themselves for complaints to come in.

In the meantime, consumers can protect themselves by looking for red flags.

“If they refuse to permit you to inspect the property, that’s a red flag,” said Basil Merenda, chief deputy for the consumer protection division of the attorney general’s office. “If they insist on taking money from you via a wire transfer, that’s another red flag.”

As for Eileen, she is hoping for a buyer soon and hopes no one loses any money to Steve.

We emailed Steve to let him know we interviewed the owner of the home and asked if he would like to comment on this story. He did not reply back.

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