Finding an affordable place to rent can be hard. So when an Oahu woman thought she finally came across a cheap house for rent online she was excited.
But it turned out to be part of an elaborate scheme where the scammer was able to allow the victim access to the home even though it was locked.
Chelsey Santos said she thought something was off from the beginning. She found a three-bedroom home posted on Facebook’s marketplace for just over $1,200 a month. With a price so low, she insisted to take a peak.
Santos then messaged the seller, who explained he lived in Texas, but could give her access to the home if she wanted to check it out. He even gave her the code to the lockbox outside the house.
To Santos, everything seemed good from there.
That’s when the scammed told her to pay her deposit through Western Union and Santos decided to try to call the number of the realtor whose rent sign was outside the house.
The realtor told KHON2 that this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.
Scammers are copying legitimate rental ads and replacing the contact information along with slashing prices to attract more victims.
Officials said the lockbox aspect is more uncommon and in this case, Santos didn’t lose any money.