Rental scams reported in Park City
January 4, 2013
The Park City Police Department is investigating two complaints from people claiming they were victims of scam artists who were advertising fraudulent rentals in the city.
The most recent one was reported midday on Dec. 27 from someone who told the police there was a problem with a rental the person believed they paid for in Old Town.
Rick Ryan, a police captain, said a 52-year-old man from Cumming, Ga., went to the Park Avenue police station to report the case. Ryan said the man told the police he had rented a condominium on the 1400 block of Woodside Avenue after seeing it listed on the online marketplace of Craigslist.
The man wired $800 to the person listed in the online posting, Ryan said. The $800 was for a deposit. The police were not sure how much the person agreed to pay for the rental itself.
The person arrived at the condominium on Dec. 27 and found that the owner of the property lived there and did not advertise the place as a rental, Ryan said.
"It left him short the $800 and whatever the cost it took him to get there," Ryan said.
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The police classified the case as a fraud and referred the person to his bank.
Ryan said the $800 was wired to a financial institution called Woodforest National Bank, based in Texas. He said the case is the second since the start of the ski season involving someone wiring money to Woodforest National Bank for a rental that turned out to be fraudulent.
Ryan said the Police Department forwarded information to the bank’s fraud investigator.
Ryan suggested people not wire money to a stranger. Someone should not wire money "unless you know that’s a reputable company," Ryan said.
A bank representative declined to comment about the cases, citing privacy policies.