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Lakeland, FL Police Department
Friday August 30th, 2013 :: 04:48 p.m. EDT


Craigslist Scam Warning

The Lakeland Police Department has received four cases recently where the victim reported incidents that homes are listed for rent/sale on by unknown persons. It all starts with an ad on Craigslist for a home for rent. The ad looks legitimate, it's actually for a home in the Lakeland area, however the problem is the home is not for rent.

These incidents have been reported between mid-July and the beginning of August. The suspects list the residence with pictures on and then after they receive a response from an interested party, they ask for a deposit to be paid via Western Union. Everything about the listings is made to appeal to as many people as possible, in the hopes of victimizing as many people as possible. In one of the Lakeland cases, the house was listed as vacation rental at a reduced monthly price.

The phony rental listing scams have been around for several years and have grown in frequency and sophistication. Some of them even have fake rental application forms online because they are trying to get third-party information for identity theft. The Lakeland Police Department wants to remind our residents of ways to avoid becoming a victim.

• Do not send anyone money for a rental property unless you have personally inspected it and met the landlord.
• Do not send money to a foreign country for a rental property that is local.
• Never wire funds via Western Union, Moneygram or any other wire service – anyone who asks you to do so is likely a scammer.

Report any suspicious information to the police department.

Lakeland, FL Police Department
219 N Massachusetts Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 863-834-6900

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