Cedar Valley woman almost falls victim to Craigslist rental home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Valley woman almost falls victim to Craigslist rental home scam

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(KWWL) -

Frustration and anger running high for a woman nearly cheated out of hundreds of dollars over a Craigslist scam. The ad on Craigslist listed a house in Cedar Falls for rent. 

A scam Susanne Pieper says almost anybody could have fallen victim to. That's exactly why Susanne Pieper says people need to know those red flags that tipped her off. 

Pieper and her husband were looking for an affordable home to rent in Cedar Falls.

When they checked Craigslist, they came across a post advertising a "Spacious and inviting 3 Bedroom ranch in great Cedar Falls location!" for $700. 

"It looked like a great neighborhood," said Pieper. "My kids would get to go to Cedar Falls Schools like I did, I mean it seemed like a win-win-win." 

She acted fast. 

"Within an hour and a half to two hours, I got approval that I could move in," said Pieper. 

 The man who posted the ad and replied to her email as "Marc White," asked her to fill out a tenant application.

The man told her, "Anyone that gets the payment down to us first will surely get the house.  So I want you to act fast."

Pieper asked to see the inside of the house.

He sent pictures, but she wanted to see the home in person.

The man told her, "I can't let you go look at the house, we couldn't trust anyone in Iowa with our keys you know." 

"And I'm like okay, well how do I know who you are?" said Pieper. 

The man claimed he was in Nigeria volunteering with the U.S.Agency for International Development. Pieper says that was her second red flag.

"But I just knew when he said utilities were included," said Pieper. "When you get the feeling that something is too good to be true, it usually is."

KWWL went to the house where we saw a for sale sign from Oakridge Realtors right on the property. When we called, the realtors told us they sold that property themselves. 

Oakridge realtors also say this happens all the time with listings on their website. They say the police can't do anything unless someone wires money.

The owner of the house says they're shocked and surprised someone would do something like this.

The ad is still posted on Craigslist here, https://waterloo.craigslist.org/apa/5675521392.html

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