Scammer targets home sale luring potential renters | #coronavirus | #scams | #covid19

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – What a deal for potential renters in Omaha. A beautiful house for just $600 a month. If that sounds too good to be true-you’re right. 

Patty Barone has a second house for sale, but renters are showing up because of a social media ad.

Sheila said, “Two bedrooms, one bath house, $600 a month.”

Patty said, “We’re discovering it’s a scam. They hijacked all the pictures.”

Photos Patty posted on homes for sale websites are being used to lure potential victims like Sheila Gordon.

Sheila Gordon, a potential victim said, “I’m glad I found out now rather than later you know, a thousand dollars later.”

That’s the amount of a deposit the scammer tells me to send him before I can get the house keys.

6 News confronted the scammer and asked him what his name was. He replied, “My name is Patrick Barron.”

Patty Barone, the home seller said, “He couldn’t get the last name right, it is not Barron, its Barone.”

Patty hasn’t lost money only sleep worrying about a reaction from renters who come to the house that’s only for sale.

Patty Barone said, “I think they might retaliate; they’re going to be mad. Some of the phone calls and texts are people who are upset.”

That’s why coworker Bob Neville came along.

“You never know what they’re going to be like when they get here if they’re going to be upset so just always try to have a friend here with you,” said Neville.

Sheila Gordon, the potential victim said, “A red flag, big time big time I’m just glad I wasn’t taken.”

So far seven renters responded to the phony ad but it’s unknown if any sent deposit money to the scammers. They’re also told to fill out an application with personal information making them potential victims of identity theft.

Copyright 2020 WOWT. All rights reserved.

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