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Alert: Rental Scam Underway


There could be a lot of disappointed people come Christmas who thought they were getting a COIVD deal on lodging, only to find out the deal was too good to be true... 

Joan Baron has her Sun Peak home on the market and the potential buyers -- doing their due diligence -- alerted the Baron’s relator - that the home was being offered for rent.

Sure enough, when Baron went to check – there it was on Craigslist vacation rentals – being offered for a couple of hundred dollars a night – over the Christmas holidays.

“Feeling kind of slighted and used... I thought, well I'm going to try to research this on my own,” Baron said. “So I did go to Craigslist for Salt Lake City and other vacation rentals and put in my address and you know there is my home and there must have been about I don't want to disclose the number that I see probably over a 100 listings came up as vacation rentals which were definitely such that because they were way under market value my home is relatively expensive home on the market and they were renting it for 2 100 and $9 a night during Christmas.”

Taking the issue into her own hands, she emailed the contact and said she was interested -- and asked if it was still available?

“They emailed back - yes it's available - and they ended up sending me a booking contract and I filled it out and sent it back and they said, great the house is yours - please send a 50% deposit to this PayPal account,” she explained. “Before I responded back to them, I actually contacted the Better Business Bureau, the FBI, Craigslist, and I think there was one other like e-commerce.gov and went and reported them to all of those and then I sent them an email back and said I just want you to know that I’ve reported you to all of these watchdog agencies and obviously I never heard anything from them but I did go back to Craigslist in my listing was removed.” 

But that didn’t last long – the  listing was back up a week later...

Baron has never rented her home She says it looks like whoever is responsible for the listing finds the realtor marketing that’s been done on a home and just lifts it and posts it into Craigslist

She posted the scam alert on a couple of Facebook pages and several who saw her post checked their own addresses and saw that that they too had been posted.

While Baron isn’t hurt by the fake postings, she says the family who thinks they’ve got a 5 bedroom home to stay in over the holidays -- could be out in the cold.

It appears that this person keeps busy making multiple listings –the copy in many of the posts she says is identical ...

What to look for she says is the price per night -- especially if you think it’s too good of a deal. A true rental for a home like hers she says would rent for 4 times that amount.

Although she hasn’t heard back from any of the agencies, she reported the scam to, she says she did receive a form letter that they had received her complaint.

Tough but fair, Leslie is the woman most of Park City wakes up with every weekday morning. Leslie has been at KPCW since 1990 and her years at KPCW have given her depth and insight, guiding her as she asks local leaders and citizens the questions on everyone’s minds during the live interviews of the Local News Hour.