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“It’s heartbreaking to have to be the one to tell them they’ve been scammed”

by Prince Of Petworth June 13, 2016 at 2:10 pm 28 Comments

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“Dear PoPville,

Wanted to solicit advice on this situation, which has now occurred three times in three weeks. It seems our place has been listed on craigslist as a vacation rental. Three times now, there is a random ring on our doorbell, and we open the door to find families that are expecting to stay at our address for a week’s vacation. They explain that they have already paid money via wire transfer from their bank accounts. Two of the families were from St. Augustine, FL, and had driven the whole way. They showed us an official looking lease arrangement with our address shown. It’s heartbreaking to have to be the one to tell them they’ve been scammed- not to discount how the families must feel, of course.

I called the police, but they said that I was not being scammed, so I had nothing to report; that the families would have to report the crime. But this is bothersome. We emailed craigslist to report the scam, but who knows if that will work. I’ve become somewhat on edge, fearing that in the middle of the day, on any day, I may have to go break more bad news to people at my door. And what if they become angry? I don’t know what recourse we have. Apparently, this is a common scam. Has anyone else experienced this?”

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