Police: Craigslist scam targets potential renters

WLFI Photo
WLFI Photo

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Indiana State Police are warning residents of a new scam involving rental properties and Craigslist.

According to a news release, a woman responded to a Craigslist posting for a rental home in Noblesville. After responding, the victim told police she received an e-mail from Irene Parrish asking her to fill out an application form.

After submitting the application, she received another e-mail from Parrish saying that she was now living in Inglewood, Calif. and asked the woman to send her $1,900 via Moneygram. The money was to cover the first month’s rent and deposit. The victim told police she sent the money from a CVS store in Noblesville.

The next day, the victim received another e-mail from Parrish asking for $950, which would cover another month’s rent. The victim told Parrish she would not send the money, as she had just sent her money the day before and still had not received the keys to the house.

Officers say the woman never received the keys to the house. She later learned the house was sold by a realty company that had their sign in the yard prior to the Craigslist posting.

Police are now reminding the public of the following precautions when working with Craigslist:

  • When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to insist on a public meeting place like a cafe and never meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home
  • Be especially careful when buying/selling high value items
  • Tell a friend or family member where you’re going
  • Take your cell phone along if you have one
  • Consider having a friend accompany you
  • Trust your instincts
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