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Couple scammed out of thousands of dollars before wedding

SEATTLE — It was supposed to be the happiest week of their lives.

scam coupleA Chicago couple picked Seattle as their wedding destination.

They paid thousands of dollars for a rental home, only to learn they were scammed.

The bride-to-be says she found the rental home on Craigslist. She talked to a man who she thought was the property owner.

They even did a background check on the guy, but turns out it was all a scam costing them $3,000.

“We Love Seattle, it`s the most beautiful city in August,” said victim Alan Stout.

When they found a picturesque rental home in a Seattle neighborhood, it was icing on the cake.

“You wouldn’t think a scammer would give me a phone number that works and answer it, but this person did,” said fellow victim Angela Miceli.

Miceli agreed to wire $3,000 in cash for a two-week stay for her entire family.

“The scammer, he even used the name of the person who owned the house,” Miceli said.

She added that they tried to verify the owner, did a background check on him, and exchanged up to 50 emails over the last few months.  On Thursday, the man answered his phone and said he was waiting for the couple to arrive.

When they got to the front steps, Miceli said, a property manager shared the shocking news: “This is a scam … (and you) are the fourth people this summer at this property that it has happened to.”

It was easy for the con artist — all he had to do was a quick search, pick a house and pose as the owner.

Q13 Fox News found the same home on vacationrentals.com.

“I just started crying,” Miceli said. “What do you do? We had all of our bags. He said he was going to be there.”

Then in a bizarre email, the man promised to refund her saying, “I’m very sorry for my actions. Please find a place in your heart to forgive me.”

When the couple called the man, there was no answer on the line.

Q13 Fox News called the same number on Friday but no one picked up.

“I think it’s a gamble you take with Craigslist. Since I had tried it before, I was comfortable with it,” said Miceli.

They can’t forgive or forget quite yet — all they can do is move on.

“We are still getting married, that’s true. The honeymoon is planned and all of the places that we are going exist,” said Stout.

The couple said that from now on, they plan to look for rentals on websites that already screen property owners.

They have been staying at a hotel since Thursday, and have not been able to find housing for their family members who are arriving in a few days for their wedding, set for next Friday.

2 comments

  • NAVYTOWN

    Who would rent a home on Craigslist and send $3000 to a perfect stranger? Word to the wise: go through a reputable rental agency. Honestly people, use some common sense.

  • ADB

    My husband and I just had a similar experience in Tacoma. We know we should have been more careful but we live in a horrible neighborhood with 3 kids in a cramped apartment and we let our emotions overrule our common sense.

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