With hundreds of homes in foreclosure, many families are looking for an affordable rental, but renters beware!
A scam on a popular website is targeting local folks looking for a good deal in a hurry.
One Bakersfield renter now knows that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
That kind of thinking didn't stop Tiffany Llamas from wishing an ad on Craig's List was legitimate.
A three bedroom home with a pool in northwest Bakersfield for $1,200 a month was advertised on the popular website.
Llamas said, "It sounded like a wonderful house and most homes in that neighborhood are going for more like $1,300 and $1,600, especially with a pool.
Llamas replied to the alleged owner of the home and received an email almost immediately.
The return email read: I and my wife came over to the U.K. for missionary work, so I hope you will promise us that you will take care of our house.
Llamas said, "That's great but I still want to see the house first and when he told me send $2,400 via Western Union and then he would, you know, send the keys to me."
After several more emails, Llamas' phone rang.
"One of the times he called me the number was blocked," said Llamas. "The second time he called me it actually came up as a number and it had way more numbers than any number in the United States, so I know he called me from out of the country."
Llamas called Martha Johnson, her real estate agent, to find out more about the property.
Johnson said, "I would like to catch that guy cause he stole all my pictures, all my wording right off the multiple listing service."
It turned out that the home in the ad on Craig's List is the same home listed for sale by Johnson.
As for the owner of the home, they have never even heard of the person who posted the Craig's List ad.
Johnson said, "It's very easy to get this information so don't be fooled."
Fortunately Llamas wasn't fooled.
She wants others to know the signs of a potential scam.
"Who leaves their house, who has to pay rent or their mortgage on it and leaves it unattended and knows no one in Bakersfield?" questioned Llamas. "You know, it doesn't make sense."