EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- Daniel Yanchuri and his family were looking for a home to rent when they found a listing on Craigslist. He met with a man claiming to be the homeowner who had keys to the property and took a full tour of the home. After they made a deal and cash was exchanged, Yanchuri discovered he'd been scammed.
Yanchuri gave a man calling himself Patrick $900 as a deposit. When he came back to the property the next day, he found out there had been a police raid at the house the night before. "The neighbors informed us of that, and also at the property I found personal effects of the legitimate homeowner, which made me somewhat on guard instantly," Yanchuri said. He eventually discovered 'Patrick' did not own the property. Yanchuri is now working with police to find out who Patrick is and stop him from scamming other people.
The police say they have seen this kind of case before, but it's not common; they have a few tips for prospective renters to protect themselves from a similar situation: first, ask to see the homeowner's ID and check out property records before paying any kind of deposit. Speak with neighbors or a real estate agent to confirm the property is actually for rent. If you do decide to rent, always pay with a check.
For your personal safety, police advise you never go to a home tour alone. Also, write down the vehicle license plate number of the person meeting you - that can help law enforcement later on, should the individual be fraudulently representing the property.