Stearns County Sheriff: Beware of Cabin Rental Scam
SOUTH HAVEN -- Imagine, you're planning a weekend getaway, you rent a cabin on a lake, only to find when you arrive you've been duped out of your money.
This scenario has happened to at least two victims trying to book a cabin on Clearwater Lake in South Haven and now the Stearns County Sheriff's Office is looking for the person responsible.
Sheriff Don Gudmundson says the suspect claims to be David Moore on Craigslist. Moore lists a property, in both cases a home in the 13000 block of Bayview Road, as available to be rented for a vacation. Moore has charged both victims $650 to rent the lake home for three days. When each victim arrived at the address, the owners of the home told them each, that their home is not available to rent.
One of the victims tried to rent the home from July 21-23 and the other victim arranged to rent it from August 10-12.
Gudmundson says Moore is a fake name used in the scam and both payments of $650 were sent to different bank accounts. Short-term, temporary email accounts were also used with each victim.
Officers are working to track down a money trail of each payment. Gudmundson says as a reminder always research a place before paying to stay. If you are able to drive to the location, do so before committing to paying for your stay.
If you have any information on these incidents, you're asked to call the Stearns County Sheriff's Office at 320-251-4240.