Police warn Long Islanders of Craigslist crooks
For those looking for an apartment or home online, Craigslist can be a great resource, but it can also be a trap set up by scammers looking to take advantage of the unsuspecting.Over the past three months, Chris Horton lost his job and house, and ended up in a homeless shelter. When he found an ad on Craigslist for a two-bedroom home in East Islip for $1,000 a month, he jumped at the opportunity. The ad was written by someone calling himself Pastor James Powers who needed to rent the home while he was on missionary work in Nigeria. Horton wired him $700, but Powers then allegedly asked for $1,000 more, and that's when Horton got suspicious.Horton says he's never heard from Powers again. The real estate agency that was legally renting the East Islip home says Powers copied many photographs of its listings online and then reposted them on Craigslist at much lower prices. Police say online real estate scams are a growing problem, so they advise people to avoid wiring money to foreign countries.