Police search for couple in Augusta Craigslist rental scam

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 8:09 AM
Last updated 8:42 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

Richmond County sheriff’s investigators are searching for a couple of Craigslist scam artists who accepted money for a rental property they did not have the authority to rent.

This woman is one of two suspects in a scam that started on Craigslist.
This woman is one of two suspects in a scam that started on Craigslist.


Police said the renter met an older white couple Sept. 23 at a house in the 2200 block of Birnam Place that had been listed for rent on Craigslist.

The female scammer unlocked the door with a key and allowed the renter to look through the house before they completed rental paperwork at the kitchen table. The renter paid $650 for the first month’s rent and a partial deposit and received a receipt.

The next day, when the renter was at the house getting utilities transferred, a real estate agent told her she had been the victim of a scam.

Investigator Dan Ferrel said the case is unusual compared with most rental scams. Craigslist rental scams, however, are not uncommon, according to authorities.

Typically, the home owner claims to be overseas and asks the potential tenant to wire the money in exchange for keys.

Investigators said the scammers could have posed as potential tenants to obtain the key.

The homeowners told investigators they had used a smaller real estate company in the past that gave out the code to a locked key box at the residence so potential clients could view the home at their leisure.

Police said that the female scammer provided a passport and retired military ID but that neither had been issued by the government. The renter took photos of the identification.

The male scammer was said to be in his late 60s to early 70s. The renter told authorities he was wearing a ball cap and sunglasses.

Anyone with information on the couple is asked to contact the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 821-1020.

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slickrayder
33
Points
slickrayder 10/04/12 - 07:46 am
4
0
these people are getting so

these people are getting so bold . the scam is all over craigslist. so please be very careful. if it sounds to good to be true ,,,IT IS!!!!!!!

MarinerMan
2107
Points
MarinerMan 10/04/12 - 07:56 am
5
0
These are the kind of felons
Unpublished

These are the kind of felons that need to be on the chain gang, for a long while. Think of how pristine Riverwatch Parkway could look? Or how about cleaning up the slum properties that ARC owns?

missaugusta07
9
Points
missaugusta07 10/04/12 - 08:01 am
5
0
We reported

We were looking to rent and we saw a listing that was too good to be true,we drove by the house and there was a realty sign in the yard,we called and the Realtor stated that they were managing the rental of the house and no one else has access to the home we gave the information that we had received from the person on craig list,they told us they had a key and the realty company was renting the home for 900 but the guy we talked to only wanted 500...that was very odd an strange!I hope they catch them

JRC2024
9998
Points
JRC2024 10/04/12 - 08:02 am
5
0
MM, I have always thought

MM, I have always thought that the prisoners should be made to work 8 hours a day keeping the entire county clean.

my.voice
5092
Points
my.voice 10/04/12 - 09:12 am
3
0
How did they happen to get

How did they happen to get this woman's photo?

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 10/04/12 - 09:43 am
4
0
Whenever you are leasing

Whenever you are leasing real property, pull up the tax records for ownership and require a copy of the management agreement from the leasing agent. Also stay away from Craigslist on all things.

A sidebar to this story, a friend from Aiken just risked her money and life trying to purchase a non existent car in Miami. That happened from eBay. From the onset of her purchase, I felt the alarm bells. She pursued it in person and fortunately survived the experience.

Remember what your mama told you, strangers are dangers.

HEYIMREAL56
37
Points
HEYIMREAL56 10/04/12 - 09:33 am
2
0
Yea.. how did..

Yea.. how did they get this photo?

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 10/04/12 - 09:41 am
3
0
Key?

How did she have a key to unlock the door??
Photo? Previous law breaker perhaps? I mean really, how do people come up with this stuff!! Just sittin round the house and oh hey, why don't we scam folks?
Usually you hear about seniors being scammed, not the seniors doing the scamming! SMDH

burninater
9799
Points
burninater 10/04/12 - 09:48 am
7
0
Usually you hear about

Usually you hear about seniors being scammed, not the seniors doing the scamming!
------
It's tempting to think you can tell a crook just by the way they look, but you can't.

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 10/04/12 - 10:43 am
6
0
Photo

She looks like she could be someone's sweet grandma. I can hear her now saying.."Do I look like a thief to you?"

You never know what crooks and terrorists are going to look like.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 10/04/12 - 10:45 am
3
0
Bingo, Tullie.

Bingo, Tullie.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 10/04/12 - 10:49 am
5
0
The key was likely obtained

The key was likely obtained when she or an accomplice viewed the property as a potential renter or a service provider. Always change locks on rentals and purchases. The cost is very low comparatively.

TrulyWorried
16067
Points
TrulyWorried 10/04/12 - 11:12 am
6
0
Senior and a crook

I am ashamed - this grandma looking crook puts a bad light on seniors - hope they catch her quickly and throw the book at her.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 10/04/12 - 12:11 pm
4
0
Thugs come in all shapes and
Unpublished

Thugs come in all shapes and sizes.

shrimp for breakfast
5503
Points
shrimp for breakfast 10/04/12 - 12:45 pm
5
0
With this photo

Someone is bound to recognize her. Put out a small reward and she'll be in jail by dusk!
Just goes to show the old cliche is true.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

GEISEN111
6
Points
GEISEN111 10/04/12 - 01:17 pm
4
0
Wow

This is so odd because this exact thing happened with our home a few weeks ago. We have it listed for sale and had a few people come by the house claiming to have seen it for rent on Craig's List. One lady was so determined that she wouldn't leave until someone came to the door. Sure enough an ad for our home with pictures from our listing were on Craig's List for rent. The ad stated that they should not contact the realtor and just come by the house. This is a very scary situation knowing that people were potentially driving by our home and even coming to our front door. I think we were lucky because we caught it shortly after the ad was put up and notified Craig's List, but it is really sad that someone would do this type of thing and that people would fall for it. Always do your due diligence. It's best to protect yourself and never give the benefit of the doubt because it's always the innocent looking ones...

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 10/04/12 - 02:19 pm
3
0
May be the same

people that did it to you! Saw on news that it's reported to possibly be a *ring* doing this.
Great, people needing rentals are at an all time high, and crooks are counting on that!
Glad you were able to remedy your situation!

KSL
140441
Points
KSL 10/05/12 - 12:25 am
3
0
Green, you are lucky you

Green, you are lucky you were still in the home. That happens mostly to properties where the owners have moved out. As Realtors, we are told to pay special attention to our unoccupied listings due to craigs list.

Renters need to beware.

soapy_725
43963
Points
soapy_725 10/05/12 - 06:15 am
2
0
And you can tell certain books by their covers.
Unpublished

I.E., Playboy, Yellow Pages, CraigsList For Idiots, Rolling Stones

The photo resembles the women who just dies, escaping judgement, as the accused killer of several husbands.

SouthAugustan
137
Points
SouthAugustan 10/05/12 - 10:10 am
1
0
Very smart

of the renter to take photographs of the lady's identification!

ttucker3995
2
Points
ttucker3995 10/05/12 - 11:45 am
0
0
Wierd but this sounds like

Wierd but this sounds like the same thing that happened to me about 2 months ago!! They only got $20 out of me for an application fee however $20 is $20. The couple was a older looking husband and wife renting a duplex. They claimed they handled all the properties for some guy who lived in westlake club. Anywho on the day I was to meet them with the rent and partial deposit I found another duplex that was cheaper and better looking. I called them but they didnt answer and I left a message and they didnt return my call.. WEIRDDDD

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