SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — More people are choosing to rent In Sacramento and that’s opened up the door to scammers.
Jacob Hill says he gave what he thought would be his landlord $950 cash for two rooms inside a home he spotted on Craiglist.
“I gave her all the money I had,” said Hill.
Hill who is battling cancer says when he showed up to the home, he ran into half a dozen people who said they paid for the same room.
“Wow, how many other people has she done this too?” Hill recalls thinking.
It turns out the woman who took their money didn’t own the place. College student Ashley Kinder is out her $150 deposit for one room.
“The lady seemed real genuine,” said Kinder.
“This is a person who takes advantage of those in their weakest moment when they are desperate,” said another woman who lost a $200 deposit.
Rental competition is at an all time high and renters are big targets for scams.
“They are everywhere,” said Alex Goldthwaite from Home Point Management.
The bad guys often download real pictures from housing ads, then post the pictures with lower prices. demanding cash up front.
It’s such a big problem, Goldthwaite says she’s watermarking photos with her company’s information right over the center of the picture.
‘If we put in the right corner or the bottom it would just be cropped out they could still steal the photo,” said Goldthwaite.
She recommends people, “ask when can I see the inside of a place and to ask private owners for proof of ownership and a driver’s license with a name that matches.”
When we called the number of the woman who reportedly rented all those people rooms in this house, she hung up on us.
Sacramento P-D says its investigating.
“I would love to see her behind bars,” said Hill.
The owner of the house told us he had no idea someone was trying to rent out rooms in his home. He suspects a disgruntled former tenant is behind this scam.