Lexington homeowner shocked to find her house was part of a rental scam, BBB gives tips to avoid falling victim

LEXINGTON, Ky. (ABC 36) As a new home owner one thing you’d never expect to happen is to find out other people believe they’re about to be renting your home.

“They said they were checking the house out because they were supposed to be renting this house where I live” said Lexington, resident, Kimberly Erskine.

Kimberly Erskine had just recently bought her house when two women paid her a visit.

She says they claimed they signed a lease to rent her house from a listing on craigslist.
They showed a picture of an I-D from their supposed landlord they had been communicating with over email.

“It was a little bit comical when she said is this a picture of your landlord and I was like no this is the landlord” said Erskine.

The women were on the way to transfer $1600 dollars for a deposit and first month’s rent when they stopped at the house.

Erskine told them she’s the owner and they were falling for a scam….a scam she was able to identify because she herself almost fell victim to one a couple years back.

“I had found a place that was close by to where i was and a good price on it and sent a message back and it all had to be done through email they wouldn’t accept a phone call or anything like that”

Knowing her home was part of a rental scam has left her shocked.

But it’s a scam that’s not uncommon.

“It’s so easy for someone to fall for one of these scams if an attractive property like this is listed on a site such as craigslist by a private owner and luring you into actually sending them some money and there’s no property for you to rent” said Heather Clary, Director of Communications with the Better Business Bureau of Eastern and Central Kentucky.

Clary urges those looking for homes online to be cautious of the red flags.

“If you see something and it sounds too good to be true such as price compared to where it’s located and amenities check again and use caution. If someone just wants you to wire them a deposit of some kind without ever meeting up with you use extreme caution,”

If you fall victim to a scam, report it to the BBB scam tracker online.

The BBB and Craigslist both offer tips and advice on avoiding scams.

Here is a link to the latest study done by the Better Business Bureau on rental scams.

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