Naples man loses more than $1,000 in rental scam

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NAPLES, Fla.- A man lost more than a $1,000 when he fell for a scam gaining traction with thieves.

“It’s like giving away $1,400, throwing it out the window,” said Mitchell Sherman.

Sherman has been renting his Naples condo out since January with no problems. But just last week, a potential renter from Poland sent him a check for $3,300, more than the amount Sherman requested. The supposed renter then requested to have the extra money sent back.

“She was very upset. She didn’t know how she was going to get here now, so I was kind enough to send the funds back to her.”

Sherman wired a more than $1,400 to an address in Texas. On Monday, he was notified by his bank that the renter’s check he deposited was fake.

“In this instance, the best thing would have been to send the check back and let them send the correct check, or wait till the check clears in the bank,” said Capt. John Barkley with the Naples Police Department.

Capt. Barkley says there are two things to look out for to prevent from becoming a victim.

“You have to watch out for ‘oops, I made an over payment’ thing, and when you hear the word MoneyGram, you have to watch out because that has been the key for a lot of different frauds we’ve had.”

Capt. Barkley says using a MoneyGram service, is the same as using cash. Beware of sending cash or wiring money to someone you don’t know.

Authorities are now investigating and working with police in Texas to see if they can track down the thief.

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