In many cities, renting a two-bedroom home for $ 2,750 per month is rather common, and perhaps even expensive. But at Steamboat Springs, one resident found the deal so good that it was worth gambling.
“Here on Steamboat, when something pops up, you have to jump a bit,” said Noah Booth, who saw the ad an hour after it was posted on Craigslist.
The headline of the ad is “Private cabin on a beautiful downtown steamboat! Great location in the old town!”
The ad photos looked professional, with hardwood floors, granite countertops and beautiful views of soda creeks. The house even said it was pet friendly, it needed a booth because he had a dog.
Booth lived in Hayden and he often commute to steamboats for work. His girlfriend was offered an educational job at Steamboat Springs High School, which was right next to his new home, if the Craigslist ad wasn’t fake.
All headlines and photos have been stripped from posts on the short-term rental site website VRBO.com, but the scammers are free to work on the name of the fictional real estate company “Noble Private Property”.
Lobby Shine, the actual owner of the property, noticed that his VRBO list was duplicated and posted on Craigslist for some time.
He said the post was flagged for deletion and then deleted and will pop up again in 10 days. This is because it was the shortest time before I could repost.
Booth responded to the ad on April 13th. Booth recalled that he and the scammers were in regular contact via text messages. Often it is an online scam.
The scammers requested payment of the first and last month’s rent, or $ 5,500, either through a money order or Zelle, a payment service similar to Venmo used in many scams across the country.
He and the scammers kept communicating for a while after Booth sent a money order, which seemed like a good sign at the time. However, the channel was silenced on May 8th.
The scammers were told at the last booth that they were waiting for the current tenant to move out on May 15. ..
“Basically I wanted an answer,” Booth said.
He wanted to see the house empty, but instead it was occupied by nightly renters.
Booth knocked on the door and explained his situation. Shine, who lives nearby, approaches the booth and he listens to him.
The two talked for almost an hour, but Shine was so sick that he offered to launch a gofundme page to raise money for the booth. Shine offered Booth as much as $ 1,000, which Booth appreciated, but he declined.
“He’s a good young man,” Shine said. He understood why Booth felt he needed to act swiftly to secure a rental. “The market is so crazy that I think people have to react this way.”
Booth and Shine contacted the police, who began an investigation. The routing number given to the booth was international, so it’s unlikely he’ll get his money back. Booth is currently planning to work for a few more months to save money to pay another rent.
Sgt. Evan Noble of the Steamboat Springs Police Department warned that senders should not send money to individuals they have not yet met. Craigslist buyers should also pay attention to the details of each transaction and be aware of potential fraudulent signs.
If you believe someone has encountered a scam, you can flag the post at the top of the page and send an email to Craigslist. [email protected]..
To contact Spencer Powell, call 970-871-4229 or send an email to the following address: [email protected]