People duped into renting occupied Steamboat Springs condo
March 14, 2013
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs Police Department is looking into who tricked a group of four people into renting and moving into a condo that already had a tenant.
The incident at a Villas at Walton Creek condo was reported Wednesday morning.
Sgt. Rich Brown said it appears someone fraudulently listed the condo for rent on Craigslist and collected a $950 money order from the four potential renters. When the renters arrived to move in, they found the condo was locked. Brown said the renters contacted the person they thought was the owner, and the owner told them the key had been mailed and it should be there in a couple days. The owner told the renters to consider calling a locksmith.
Instead, the renters got into the condo by climbing over the balcony. They then moved in, hung up posters and made themselves at home, which included smoking marijuana in the condo. The person who was legitimately living in the condo was out of town, Brown said.
A neighbor was suspicious and contacted a person responsible for the condo. The new renters were told to get out and are out the $950.
Brown said they have emails from the imposter owner and that the case would be assigned to a detective.
Similar Craigslist scams have occurred in Steamboat but have typically involved short-term vacation rental properties. In at least once case, vacationers arrived to Steamboat and learned they had been the victims of fraud.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com