A Davenport mom of five is homeless after a scam that started on the internet.
In late September, the mom, who did not want to be named, posted an ad on Craigslist searching for a two to three bedroom home in the Davenport area.
She got a text from a man named John. He said he had the perfect place, but wanted her to send him money. She wanted to meet him in person. He agreed, meeting her at a house near 15th and Esplanade Avenue in Davenport.
“He was like the most wonderful man I ever met in my life,” said the mom.
He let her in the house, even let her take a peak around and then asked for a deposit of $1,300.
“I gave him the money and he told me he would be right back. Then he left, and I’ve never seen him again,” she said.
Gone, with all her money, leaving her and her kids homeless, she says John has only answered her call once, saying he would be back in town. News eight tried calling the number she used, but there was no answer.
“If something doesn’t feel right, of course you know you should step back,” said Sharon Carlson.
Sharon Carlson of the Quad City Realtor Association says scammers take information from professional sites, post it on Craigslist then often ask for the person to send money. She says the scammers often tell the person the property will go fast, giving them a sense of urgency.
“Craigslist has been very good about those bogus listings when they’re posted. But the trouble is by the time it’s reported, they may have already taken away hundreds, if not thousands of dollars,” said Carlson.
Carlson says it’s important to work with a professional when buying or renting. She says never to give out personal information, like a social security number, over the phone or internet.