Indiana State Police investigators warn you to be careful when looking for rental properties on Craigslist.
A Plainfield resident answered a Craigslist posting for a rental home in Noblesville. The victim filled out an application form and received an email from Irene Parrish that she is now residing in California and needed the victim to wire $1,900 to her via Moneygram. The money was to cover the $950 in rent for the house and a $950 refundable deposit. The victim wired the money from a CVS store in Noblesville.
The victim received another email from Parrish asking for another $950 for an extra month’s rent. The victim refused and informed Parrish that she already sent $1,900 and had not received the keys to the home.
The victim never did receive the keys and found out later that the house was actually sold by a realty company that had their sign in the yard one week prior to the Craigslist posting.
Police urge you to protect yourself from rental scams. Before renting a house from an individual, ask for proof that they own the property. Check public records at the county assessor’s office to be sure and to verify that no notice of default or notice of a trustee sale has been issued.
Beware of anyone who asks you to pay cash or wire money. If you pay cash by choice, make sure to get a receipt. There is no way to trace wired money and there is no returning that money. Also, be suspicious of a price that seems too good to be true and always ask a lot of questions.