HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Craigslist can be a great way to unload items or find treasures for cheap, but it's also a breeding ground for scammers. One Huntsville family learned the hard way while trying to rent a home.
Brieanna Cannon said it was the home for their dreams, because it was a three bedroom two baths in the South Huntsville when they discovered it. "All of the utilities was included, that`s kind of what we were looking for you know," Cannon said.
The ad claimed it was only $750.00 a month to rent. "We all felt like it was too good to be true but we didn't want to pass up an opportunity," Cannon explained.
The alleged owner told them he was out of town on business, but encouraged them to go look at the house by going in through an unlocked side-door.
They thought it was perfect, so they paid $1750.00 via Walmart money gram for the deposit and rent.
In the meantime they were told to go ahead and move into the home, but after only a few days of actually living in it they got a surprising phone call.
They were told they weren't renters, but unwelcome guests. They were also told someone else actually owned the home and they were squatting. The family was given two days to get out.
Better Business Bureau President of North Alabama Elizabeth Garcia said rental property scams are all too common. "The key red flags are a low price that`s not normal for that market and type of house or type of apt. Also, someone who is not willing to meet with you to do a walk through, or wire transfer money. Those are key red flags," Garcia said.
It was the same red flags the Cannon family experienced, but looked past. "Because everyone gets scammed and you think it will never happen to you and then it does. You`re really a lost for words, of how people can treat other people and take their money," Cannon said.