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home : latest news : latest news December 17, 2014

11/28/2013 8:31:00 AM
Scam nearly snares woman seeking to rent Prescott Valley home
Scott Orr
Special to the Tribune

A woman from California looking to rent a quad-cities house on a website almost lost $1,400 to a scam, and may have had her identity stolen as well, according to a police report.

The victim was a 22-year-old woman who was using the Zillow.com home rental website to find a house.

Last week, she thought she had. The place, a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house on North Navajo in Prescott Valley, was renting for $700 a month, the site said.

She contacted the owner listed, a man who spoke with a "heavy Nigerian accent," the report said, and he told her he was a missionary assigned to Nigeria who needed to rent his house. He asked that she send two $700 Moneygrams, one for the security deposit and then one for the first month's rent, to 103 Airport Road in Lagos, Nigeria, the report said.

She went to the store, got the Moneygram, and was about to send it when she decided the deal was a scam. She got her money back.

But before the victim did that, she gave her name, email, mailing address, age and photo to the "missionary," and a check of Zillow showed that her home in California was fraudulently listed for rent, the report said.

The house in Prescott Valley was removed from the website.

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