Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Man duped by online ad

Scam rental listing had him wire $725

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AIKEN --- A four-bedroom, two bath rental home in Crosland Park for $425 a month with utilities included seemed too good to be true.

It was.

A young man was scammed of $725 from someone who'd recreated a Craig's List item about a property owned by Lynn Marcantoni, a Greer woman who rents homes in Aiken.

Marcantoni said the man believed he was renting the home from a rental agency in the United Kingdom.

After the situation was resolved, she decided to allow the man to stay in the home for the actual rent: $625 per month.

"He's the real victim," she said Wednesday. "It was surprising to me, because I had deleted all my properties off of Craig's List six months ago. Little did I know, people were still using the listings to try to scam people."

On Jan. 14, Marcantoni found a car parked in front of the home located off of U.S. Highway 1 and lights on in the front room. She called the police. The man told her he had replied to the Internet solicitation on the home.

He mailed the $725 -- one month's rent and a $300 deposit -- to a location overseas and was told a key would be mailed to him, Marcantoni said.

"They had an elaborate plan," she said. "They told him he couldn't see the place, because their local person was in the hospital."

The renter had expected to receive the key in the mail on Jan. 9, according to the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

After waiting several days, he decided to enter the apartment through a window. He hired a locksmith to change the locks, according to the report.

"He really thought this was his place and that the key was coming," Marcantoni said. "He was coming from a cold apartment with roaches. He was desperate."

Marcantoni initially planned to force the renter to move out but said she sympathized with his situation. She conducted a quick background and financial check, and accepted rent and a deposit from the young man.

Aiken Department of Public Safety has acquired the e-mails and transaction information from the renter for an investigation, Sgt. Aaron Dowdy said. The renter has not been able to have his account refunded for the $725, according to an incident report.

Marcantoni said she would advise renters never to wire money to anyone, and always view the apartment before renting.

She said she is still concerned the scammers are using old listings for her properties, so she advises property owners to avoid the Web site.

"This whole situation was unfortunate," she said. "I got a good renter out of it, but I would just advise people to be careful if something seems to be too good to be true."

Comments (14) Add comment
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Jonas
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Jonas 01/28/10 - 04:26 am
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Dummy!! He gave that money

Dummy!! He gave that money away. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!!

cristinadh
6
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cristinadh 01/28/10 - 06:12 am
0
0
I agree..

I agree..

curly123053
4671
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curly123053 01/28/10 - 08:37 am
0
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What this guy did was dum and

What this guy did was dum and careless but I am glad the owner actually had a heart to work out a deal with him. Hopefully there was a lesson learned here.

TrukinRanger
1748
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TrukinRanger 01/28/10 - 09:25 am
0
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Sorry dude.. I'm with the
Unpublished

Sorry dude.. I'm with the other posts.... dummy! Hopefully others will learn from your experience

cakewalk30904
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cakewalk30904 01/28/10 - 11:26 am
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Another case of trusting the

Another case of trusting the wrong person.

stovall st
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stovall st 01/28/10 - 11:52 am
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DUH!

DUH!

Rolling Eyes
245
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Rolling Eyes 01/28/10 - 01:48 pm
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It says that he is a young

It says that he is a young man. I'll bet that he was just naive and not stupid. He must be doing something right to have good enough credit to pass the background check. Bet he'll be far wiser in the future.

dashiel
176
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dashiel 01/28/10 - 02:38 pm
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0
Right on, Rolling. I guess

Right on, Rolling. I guess these posters never were young once. Experience is the teacher, not wiseacres.

gaflyboy
4827
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gaflyboy 01/28/10 - 02:54 pm
0
0
I'm sure this was a valuable

I'm sure this was a valuable learning experience for this young man. I'd also bet he wished his dilemma had not been made public, but at least maybe some other young person can learn from his mistake.

demented dave
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demented dave 01/28/10 - 04:39 pm
0
0
Sooo, does this mean the

Sooo, does this mean the Vietnamese woman I met on Craig's list doesn't really want to marry me?

dominionfs
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dominionfs 01/28/10 - 05:10 pm
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Sure she does Dave. Just send

Sure she does Dave. Just send the nice lady your credit card info like she asked so she can get her photo taken in a pretty new dress.

Dixieman
14943
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Dixieman 01/28/10 - 06:29 pm
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0
Duh

Duh

corgimom
32499
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corgimom 01/28/10 - 09:22 pm
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Anybody that would rent a

Anybody that would rent a house in Montmorenci SC and wire money overseas, needs their head examined.

Pu239
284
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Pu239 01/29/10 - 02:06 am
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yo corgi.........the article
Unpublished

yo corgi.........the article says the house is in AIKEN........try to keep up. The owners name is Marcantoni, no mention of Montmorenci .

NEone
6
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NEone 02/03/10 - 07:52 am
0
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PU239: Please don't try to

PU239: Please don't try to confuse corgi with the facts.

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