Online scam attempts to ‘rent’ a Lane Street home

An alert local Craigslist browser noticed something fishy last week about a Lane Street property listed as “for rent” on the classified ads website.

The same house was listed as “for sale” with a local realty company.

The individual notified Ripon Police of the supposed scam, which asked for a down-payment transferred through Western Union — a common tactic scammers use to snag funds that law enforcement can’t track.

“Once the people would [transfer money], then of course the money is gone,” Ripon Police Capt. Troy Damsteegt said. “But thank goodness we didn’t have anyone fall for the scam.”

The ad appears to have since vanished.

Unfortunately, online listings for big-ticket items such as cars — or even houses, it seems — can become targets for such scams, according to Damsteegt.

“When you put an ad out there, these scammers latch on to that,” he said.

Read the full story in the March 29, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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