Craigslist scam forces family to move out of home

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The housewarming party was over before it started.

An Iowa family was forced to move out soon after taking up residence in an Ames house after authorities discovered that they had fallen prey to a Craigslist scam.

According to KCCI, the couple told authorities that they responded to a Craigslist ad about a house for rent. The couple believed that they were working with a real estate agent. They never met the agent in person, as all communication was handled via email. The couple used a wire transfer service to send a $1,000 payment.

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The only problem was, the house was never for rent.

A Century 21 real estate agent said scammers are taking photos of residential properties from the Century 21 website. It’s not the first time such an incident has occurred in the area.

Police say it is tough to catch such scammers because many operate outside of the country and are good at covering their tracks. To avoid becoming a scam victim, police recommend using the Internet to thoroughly research the person offering a home for rent on Craigslist before handing over any money.