Facebook Marketplace takes a backwards approach to rental scams

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – If you’re in the market to buy a home or rent a home, you better keep an eye on listings on Facebook.

The hard-selling scammers are toning down their rhetoric, but the results are still the same. It’s not all about fast talk and pressured time limits. Fraudsters are now taking the opposite approach.

Danette Perna found a great house to rent from Anthony Wayne Trail in Toledo. For only $800 she had all the space she wanted and it got better.

“I was happy. are you kidding? Currently a house in that neighborhood for $800 including utilities. That is unheard of,” Perna said.

She found the listing on Facebook Marketplace. After emailing the landlord and texting back and forth, Perna visited the property twice, even bringing her dog. But since the owner of the house is thought to have moved to Texas, she can only see inside through the windows.

“He never asked me for social security, bank account information, what I did for a living,” Perna said.

These were just a few red flags, but he put the lease in writing, sent an application, and didn’t sell. She was allowed to take her time to return all the documents.

When it finally came time to pay, he was told that a check was unnecessary, and instead offered this:

“We can put it into my account through one of these ATMs and it gives me two,” Perna said.

Perna knew she was going to be cheated and ended everything. Those Facebook photos are from an online listing of a home for sale.

Perna finally told the listing agent that the place was never available for rent. She didn’t lose money, but she hopes people will be more careful when they get a deal like this.

“I feel like I’m in something I shouldn’t be,” Perna said.

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