Holland woman says she was nearly duped by fake rental home ad on Craigslist

Heather Carlson said she was looking to rent a home, but was nearly duped out of hundreds of dollars. The Holland woman is sharing her story about Craigslist, a free online classified advertising website, hoping to prevent someone else from falling victim to what she called "a real estate scam.'
Jan 18, 2012


Carlson said she spent months searching for a home, and then found a house for rent on Craigslist, asking for $600 a month.

“I couldn’t believe it was so close to the lake,” she said.

Carlson responded to the ad and said a person calling himself “Bob Bouman” wrote her back.

“He wanted $500 for security deposit and $600 for rent,” Carlson said.

The so-called “Bob Bouman” wanted the money sent to a lawyer in Texas. That’s when Carlson got suspicious and searched the name on the Internet. She found a Holland real estate agent named Bob Bouman and called him.

Bouman said the Craigslist ad was not from him, and he received a similar call last year.

“I said, ‘You got the right address, but it sounds like a scam that I ran into last summer with someone else,’” Bouman said.

“I automatically felt sickened,” Carlson said.

Bouman does own the property that was advertised, but the home is already rented out to a tenant until June.

Bouman said he always meets a client in person. “I’d meet people at the house, show them the house,” he said.

Craigslist has removed the fraudulent ad, and Carlson said she plans to file a police report.


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