An advertisement on Craigslist lured a woman from Monroe, CT, into renting a house
in Newport, but after paying a $400 security deposit and the $150
rent for one night, she realized the house does not exist.
victim reported the fraud to Monroe police on Aug. 14, the same day her
daughter arrived in Rhode Island to learn the address does not
even exist, according to police.
Police said a neighbor in the area told the woman's daughter that this scam has happened numerous times.
"The public is asked to
check with local realtors and do some research before engaging in a
transaction online," reads a statement from the Middletown Police Department. "These cases are difficult to prosecute as quite
often the IP address and telephone numbers are false or originate from
outside of the United States. This type of scam is not isolated and is
occurring nationwide. Always verify that you are dealing with a
legitimate property owner or realtor before you electronically transfer
Craigslist advertisement included a bank account for the renter and
police said they are conducting an investigation with that information
as their starting point.