Craigslist Rental Scam Costs Couple $1,000

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A Lynchburg, Va., couple is sending a warning to Craigslist users after losing $1,000 because of a fake rental listing.

Richard and Faith Shive said they responded to a rental home ad posted on the site, eventually wiring money to the listing's author and moving into the empty house.

The couple later found out that the ad was stolen from a legitimate rental website, and the scammer actually broke into the house to let them move in.

Two days after getting the keys to their new home, police officers showed up at the Shives' door ordering them to move out.

"Supposedly, they were missionaries that were going overseas to serve for about five years, that was their story," Richard Shive recalled. "We had moved in everything. Pretty much every room in here was full."

"They just made it sound believable. So, I mean, I didn't suspect anything," Faith added.

Richard said authorities warned that "around 25 percent of the ads on Craigslist are a scam."

One red flag when responding to an online listing is when the transaction involves payment by Western Union or some other type of money wire transfer.

--Published Jan. 20, 2012.

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