Condo rental scam snagging tourists in Clearwater - WFLA News Channel 8

Condo rental scam snagging tourists in Clearwater

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Great views of the intracoastal waterway. Just steps from the white sands of the Gulf Coast. Rent a 7th floor unit at "Harborage One" of the "Isle of Sand Key" at a ridiculously low price.

Carl Rudella called "8 on your side" after people started showing up, ready to vacation there. His answer to the question:Is your place for rent? "No . No. It's being remodeled" said Rudella.

This same scenario has happened four times in the last month. Most of the would-be renters found a listing for Rudella's place on Craig's List. He says, they were told, there'd be a key in a lock box... Just send the money, up to 12-hundred dollars, and the place is yours. "The people that we've talked to so far, most of em have lost their money" he said.

The latest incident happened Tuesday night.  "The guard called up and said that they have two carloads here say they're renting your unit. I went "not again." So I looked my wife and I could hear the lady in the background. She was a little bit upset." The victims in this case had plunked down her cash through PayPal.

Rudella says he's heard from neighbors, this same scam is happening to them. People show up... Only to be turned away.

On Craig's list, we found an ad from someone saying it's going on in Indian Rocks. The ad warns of a man taking cash for a 3-bedroom place, but making off with the loot on a condo he doesn't own.

A Clearwater Police Sergeant plans to visit Rudella so the agency can track how big this scam really is.

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