At least four people have fallen victim of a Craigslist rental scam. A man who claimed to own a property in northwest Joplin received thousands of dollars in security deposits and rent from the victims for the same property. Corporal Chuck Niess says this is common scam and they receive several reports a year of it happening. He gave News Talk KZRG this advice.
"Go through legitimate brokers, and do a little research online. You can always go check the
court records to see if that person is the property owner. There's other avenues to find property to rent."
Niess tells News Talk KZRG the latest incident was discovered when one family tried to move in while someone was already living there.
"People pay their deposit and rent. In this case, a couple of them actually got keys. The property wasn't legitimately available rent, plus multiple people were trying to go in at the same time."
The fake landlord has been identified, but has not been arrested at this time.