Dallas homeowner caught in Craigslist rental scheme




Posted on May 31, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Updated Thursday, May 31 at 10:36 PM

DALLAS -- The "for sale" sign in front of Michael Evans' home in Dallas attracted people every day and this week, he got a knock on the door.  

The visit immediately signaled trouble. The man was not interested in buying the home.  He wanted to rent it.

"He said there were pictures on Craigslist, there's an ad for it and he started describing the inside of the house which was weird," said Evans.

The man left and Evans went on-line.  He never posted anything on Craigslist, but he found his home “for rent” and online.

"There was my house, photos, description, everything that is on the for sale listing," said the homeowner.  "It was copied on Craigslist and the home was for $700, all bills paid."

Evans got in contact with the person behind the ad.  He first posed as a potential renter.

"Then I mentioned that I owned the house and that's when he got a little upset,' said Evans.  "He started cussing and threatening me."

News 8 tried to contact the man who posted the ad, but he did not get a response. The Evans family notified Craigslist of the alleged scheme.

"He is preying on the right person," said Evans. “He's looking for somebody who has no money or is in a desperate situation to move real fast, real quick, for nothing."

Evans said he also found other rental listings tied to the same person. 
News 8 noticed that on Craigslist, the company has posted a warning on rental ads, alerting people to be careful with money orders, transfers and landlords who are out of the country. 

Evans' message: renters beware.

"I hope this totally saves somebody the possibility of losing money or the heartbreak of feeling ripped off," Evans said.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com