Wichita woman falls victim to social media rental scam
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - A Wichita woman says she was scammed while trying to rent a home. Police say it's happening more and more across the country.
Bailee Goad told KAKE about the red flags that made her wonder if it was legit.
She says one of the first signs was when she saw the same house for rent on two different platforms. For two very different prices.
"He was just pushing it on us. He kept texting me every minute, every hour that he could just saying hello and being really weird,” said Bailee Goad a Wichita Resident.
Bailee Goad walks us through what happened when she says she got scammed trying to rent a home in Maize. She saw two different listings.
The one on Zillow is priced at $945.
The same home on Facebook marketplace is listed at $650.
Goad tells us she paid a $60 application fee through Cash App. That's when she got suspicious.
“The main thing was the cash app. Realtors don't use Cash App. They use like your bank, you send in your money, they ask for your information,” said Goad.
She got the application typed out in an email. Going through it she thought it was strange what the renter didn't want to know.
“It just asked for your name, your phone number the address you live at, and then he asked how much you get paid, where you work, and nothing about the annual income of both of us,” said Goad.
Then in a text message exchange, the supposed renter kept asking for the security deposit.
“He said that our application was fine. We would get the house. I was like okay, and he goes well, then you can send me the $200 security deposit. You guys can get the keys the next day. You can meet me in the morning to get the keys. Mention to say, we've never seen this house,” said Goad.
After the supposed renter asked for money through Cash App, she and her boyfriend contacted the Maize Police Department, which turned out to be the right move.
"Consumer fraud and law enforcement want to remind people that before you go paying people online, be sure you vetted and verified that this is truly the person that's responsible for this party,” said Jeff Piper, a detective for Maize Police Department.
It's also important to note in the exchange Goad had with the supposed renter, he claimed he was willing to give her the keys by only paying a security deposit. Not first months or any type of rent. Also, police say in most cases, it's hard to go after the scammer. So she may not get her money back.