HERNANDO, Miss. — An online scam surprised a Hernando family when they realized their house was listed on Craigslist for rent, but they weren’t the ones who listed it. They didn’t find out until someone called looking for information.
Several families made their way to the house on Edwards Place over the weekend, looking for a possible place to rent. The owners are worried people could be getting scammed out of a lot of money.
Marty Pickard told WREG, “She said it was $600 a month rent-to-own and I said, ‘Oh that’s not right. That’s a scam.'”
Pickard and her husband Bill just put this house up for sale. While they’re trying to sell it, someone else is tricking people into thinking it’s for rent.
The Pickards posted a listing on a realtor’s website, but then found the bogus listing on Craigslist. The scammers even used some of the same pictures.
It was enough to trick at least one woman.
“The first lady who called me was in the Walmart parking lot in Senitobia about to wire money,” Marty said.
That near-victim sent Pickard text messages from a woman named Michelle Obie, who posed as the landlord.
We gave that number a call. The woman confirmed her name is Michelle, but then said, “I think you have the wrong number.”
Michelle told us her sister had been using her phone, and she would call us back, but never did.
The Craigslist ad came down mid-week, but was back up on Friday, and the Pickards printed the proof. They filed complaints with the website and Desoto County Sheriff’s Office.
Now they’re waiting for action while trying to sell their house.
“My husband didn’t want to take a chance this weekend having someone move in thinking someone had rented the house,” Marty said.