LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Renters beware, scammers are taking real listings and posting them as their own getting people to give up hundreds of dollars. It happened to a family looking to move to Little Rock from Florida.
With a new addition to the family, Tiffany Proulx and her husband are ready to pick up their life in Florida and move to the Natural State.
“We adopted our daughter in December of 2019. We wanted to be closer to my husband’s family,” Proulx said.
She was browsing homes for rent in Little Rock on Facebook Marketplace.
“We found a unicorn,” Proulx said.
It was pet friendly, had cheap rent and a fenced in yard. The small brick home was everything they were looking for.
“So, I sent them a message,” Proulx said.
Within 24 hours she got a response.
“Told me that it would be a $55 application fee and that upon approval it would be a deposit,” Proulx said.
Everything looked by the book, so she filled out the application and sent it back. When it came to the fee, that’s when things got a little fishy.
“They said, ‘well we can use PayPal’ and then they told me that their PayPal is set up to where only friends and family can send them things because they’re a private owner, so I was like well okay, it’s $55,” Proulx said.
A day later, she got a message asking for a $700 deposit along with an approval letter.
“I noticed that I was able to edit it and that put huge red flags up for me,” Proulx said.
A quick google search later, she found the house was owned by a realty company. When she called, it was already under lease.
“I said, ‘I’m going to need my money back and then they stopped talking to me all together and blocked my number,” Proulx said.
Looking back, she believes she should’ve been more hesitant, but she’s just happy she caught it when she did.
“We were this close to sending them a $700 deposit. $55 we can handle,” Proulx said.
Proulx is now only looking at rental companies and management companies for a place to live. As far as a warning for others, she said Google the address.