Four Renters Fall Victim to Craigslist Apartment Scam
Out-going tenant posed as landlord to scam apartment-seekers out of thousands, police said.
Note: The suspects in this case have been identified, read more here.
An out-going tenant in Medford allegedly conned would-be renters out of thousands of dollars by posing as the property landlord and collecting security deposit checks, police said.
Four separate complaints have been filed with the Medford police department by people who, after responding to an ad on Craigslist, thought they had made an agreement to rent an apartment at 25 Fountain St., police said. But when they arrived at the property on move-in day, they found out they had been duped.
One of the victims showed up at the building with a moving truck full of furniture on New Years Day and another was in the process of moving in on Jan. 2 when the real homeowner confronted him, police Lt. Paul Covino said.
In each case, the victim responded to an ad posted on Craigslist for an apartment for $600 per month and went to the property for a look. They met with two people, a woman and a man, who presented themselves as either a couple or mother and son.
The victims agreed to pay deposits of varying amounts, ranging from $600 to $1300, police said. In at least one case the victim was given a key to the apartment.
In all, the suspects are believed to have taken at least $3,850, Covino said.
The real property owner told police he was letting the suspects stay there because they were friends and were homeless, police said.
The Medford Police Department's Detectives Unit is working the case, and is optimistic the suspects will be found, Covino said. But it's unlikely the money taken will be recovered, he said.
"It is likely that these individuals will be apprehended," Covino said in an email. "However, it is highly unlikely that they will still have the money or any money for that matter."
There is little the victims could have done to prevent the crime, Covino said. He had never heard of such a scam occurring in Medford before.
The suspects have not been identified because warrants for their arrest haven't been issued yet, Covino said. The female suspect is expected to face four counts of felony larceny by false pretenses, he said, and the male suspect will likely face the same charges.