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Craigslist house rental scam in Skiatook

Those curious house-hunters had come across her listing on Craigslist, but it wasn't her listing. She doesn't use the website, so she contacted the person behind the ad. (KTUL)

A Craigslist scam involving house rentals is causing problems in Skiatook, and a new listing with Coldwell Banker Select is up for sale, but on Craigslist, it's up for rent.

"I had an inquiry about the property, they were wanting to know some more information about it," said Melissa Gardner, the listing agent.

Gardner is accustomed to getting plenty of calls about homes, but this one was different. "I told them some information about it, and they asked, 'Is it for rent?' I said, 'No, the property is for sale,'" she said.

Those curious house hunters had come across the listing on Craigslist, but it wasn't Gardner's listing even though it was under her name. She doesn't use the website, so she contacted the person behind the ad.

Gardner heard back in a lengthy and overly detailed email from the person claiming to own the house, a Reverend Robert Morrison, who says he's a missionary being transferred to East Africa.

"He would lease the property for $850 a month and gave me his telephone number and fill out the application, and give him a $600 security deposit," Gardner said. She didn't pay up, but she did tell police.

"Craigslist can be a good tool if you're looking for a good deal, but be careful because anybody can post anything on there," said Skiatook Detective Sergeant Jerry Bullard.

They recommend skepticism and also being safe in those face-to-face meetings.

"We also recommend that if you're going to sell something or make a purchase, we recommend you meet somewhere that's safe, populated, has cameras," said Bullard.

As for the house, "It is up for sale," said Gardner. "Not for rent."

Skiatook Police put their warning out in a Facebook post.

The real listing for the home can be found here.

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