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New variation on home rental scam

By Brian Heap, bheap@kwch.com
Published On: Apr 07 2014 01:36:01 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 07 2014 06:15:43 PM CDT
DERBY, Kan. -

Amanda Mulsow is on the clock.  She has about 10 days to help her daughter's father find a place to live.  Air Force Tech Sergeant Ben Hill is coming home from Afghanistan and needs a home to rent.

"He's working at least 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.  So when he does find homes it's important that we act quickly," Muslow says.

Hill found what he thought was the perfect place on real estate website Trulia.  It featured a beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in Derby with nearly 1800 square feet and a lake view.  All for $1000 a month.

Acting on his behalf, Mulsow answered the ad. 

"I got this sketchy very form email response back about how he was in Africa and the lawyer was out of the country and just all these red flags started going off."

FactFinder 12 stopped by the address listed for rent.  It's actually a home for sale.  Agent Debby Purvis says it's not for rent and the owner is still living inside.

Real estate broker JP Weigand & Sons says similar scams have been around on Craigslist for a long time, but finding them on a reputable site like Trulia is new.

"He found this one and absolutely loved it and it was too good to be true," says Mulsow.

Fortunately, she didn't lose any money or give out any personal information.  She hopes you don't either.

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