Valley woman warns of online home rental scam

FLAGSTAFF, AZ - A Valley woman is warning of an online rental scam after a man showed up at her home, believing he would be staying there for several days.

"It's really disheartening to tell someone, no, you don't have my house rented for the four-day weekend," that woman, Erica, told ABC15.

Last week, Erica decided to spend the July 4th holiday at her second home in Flagstaff. She rents the house out for part of the year on Airbnb and VRBO but takes down the listing during summer. 

She said the man, who arrived with packed bags and his dog, told her he'd found a listing for the home on Craigslist.org and sent $160 deposit through PayPal to someone he believed to be the owner.  

The fake listing featured more than twenty photos of Erica's home that she believes were ripped from her legitimate Airbnb listing. 

"I think the person that did this probably has listings all over the world hijacked and they're making a lot of money," she said. 

Erica flagged the fake listing and put up her own to warn others about the scam.

ABC15 tried calling the number for "Bruce," the person the supposed renter was told to call upon arrival at the Flagstaff home, but nobody answered. The number features a 719 Colorado area code. 

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