Family Dodges Craigslist "Home For Rent" Scam - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Family Dodges Craigslist "Home For Rent" Scam

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DEWITT, MI (WLNS) - A DeWitt family is counting their blessings after they say they dodged a craigslist scam.

6 News Christa Lamendola spent the day talking to the family.

The family says they thought the rental listing was a sign from God after their family became too big for their old apartment. But when it came down to paying for the rental, they soon found out the ad was from a scammer overseas, not the actual homeowner.

The Holmes family thought they found the house of their dreams, a three bedroom home for rent with a perfect price for their tight budget. New reverend and father, Elgin Holmes says as first glance he thought the Craigslist ad was a sign from God.

 “I was all ready to go. I was thinking it was a blessing. I was saying this is meant to happen. I always believe God opened the door to you,” said Elgin Holmes, found Craigslist scam.

In the ad the man says he left the country for a mission trip in Nicaragua and was trusting in God to find the right person to rent his home to.

It seemed too good to be true and it was. The family decided to look deeper before writing the $1,200 check.

“My wife had checked the Lansing City Assessors and the names didn't match up. When that didn't match up we decided to go look at the house.”

But when the family got to the house, not only did they find a for sale sign, they also found a very confused owner.

The owner said he's lived in the house for five years and thinks the scammer stole photos from his house listing and posted them on Craigslist.

Lansing police say they can't do anything about a scammer overseas, but people can look for red flags online.

“Do not deal with anyone entirely over e-mail. Only deal with people you can meet in person. Always inspect properties that you’re going to rent or buy. Make sure subjects also have a key to that residence,” said Sgt. Chris Baldwin, LPD.

The family is temporarily staying in an apartment while they search for new housing, but they consider this situation a blessing. They say if they would have fallen for the scam they would've financially been forced to live on the streets or in a shelter.
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