(Update: adding video, homeowner, relocation service business comments)
It's not the first time a scam like this has happened -- and likely not the last
LA PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Kevin and Jennifer Hagan of La Pine were enjoying their Oregon coast vacation -- until they were told their home had been listed on Craigslist for rent.
"Charming one bed, one bath," the listing read, with a rental rate of $1,600 a month.
"When you see your house and your living room online for rent, it doesn’t sit well with me,” Hagan told NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday.
The Craigslist listing, which has since been removed, was posted for 16 days before Hagan and other community members got it removed. In that time, at least one person reached out to Hagan to inquire about the property.
Hagan isn't sure how many people responded to the listing, but he would not be surprised if that number was higher than just one.
"There isn’t really a place to rent in La Pine," Hagan said. "For someone to put this up, even a one-bed and one-bath. it would rent pretty quick.”
This is not the first time NewsChannel 21 has reported on a housing scam. In 2018, a family from England thought they had rented a home in Bend, which turned out to be a scam.
Melissa Gottileb of Bend Relocation Services told NewsChannel 21 the "house for rent" scam is nothing new, and probably will not be going away any time soon.
“I see them daily," Gottileb said. “I think it’s really important for people to not be so eager to give out deposits or email their information and give money, because once you send it out and give it to them, you cannot get it back.”
Gottileb said there are a few things you can do to double-check if the listing is legit: You can compare listing prices ,and if the price is too low, it's probably too good to be true. You can check if the property management company or the person behind the listing is listed with the Better Business Bureau. And avoid listings that are email-only communication.