A Rochester man is accused of running a Craiglist rental scam.
David M. Linton, 29, faces burglary and petit larceny charges. He was arraigned last week and is being held on $15,000 bail.
Chloe Goodrum said she responded to an ad on Craigslist for an apartment. She told police she was given a tour of an entire house at 149 Winterroth St. She agreed to rent the house for $550 a month and gave Linton $900 for a security deposit and partial rent.
“I told my family. We were all happy about it. I showed them pictures of the house,” Goodrum said.
Police found Goodrum because she left a rental application in the mailbox of the house. They warned her she was being scammed and asked her to set up a meeting with Linton. Police arrested Linton at the meeting.
“He gave me keys! The day I helped police catch him, he gave me keys,” said Goodrum.
Goodrum lives on disability payments. Right now, she is staying with a friend in a tiny one-bedroom bedroom apartment in the 19th Ward.
Goodrum is the only victim listed in court documents. But police believe they have identified six other victims. They are looking for more people to come forward.
Police say Linton had burglary tools in his possession.
“He’d break in and list one-showing, but he’d have two, three, four five different victims waiting to be shown the house,” said Sgt. Charles Zlotkus.
Police are investigating two similar scams operating in the city.
“Lots of times they pack up their kids into U-Hauls and get everything out of their apartment, they moved out, only to find out that they’ve been scammed,” said Sgt. Zlotkus.
Police say red flags include landlords demanding cash. People should also be suspicious of landlords who won’t give the address in the advertisement or in initial phone calls.
“You hear about it. You read about it. You see it on television, but I never thought that I would be caught up in a scam,” said Goodrum.
Police hope to add additional charges against Linton, including scheme to defraud. People who believe they are victims of these scams are asked to contact police at 428-1285.