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It's a Craiglist scam that has become all-too common in the Northland --potential renters losing hundreds if not thousands of dollars.One Northland couple hopes what happened to them won't happen to you.
"We've been living with my mother for the past few years," said Katie Bakkey, a mother of one.
She has her boyfriend, Matt Estby, recently saved up enough money for their first rental home in Duluth.
"It was time to go out on our own and start making a career and home for ourselves," Bakkey said.
They headed to Craigslist to find a perfect home for their 2–year–old son on the 700 block of 20th Avenue East.
"It was 900 dollars a month, including everything, which was more than we could have ever hoped for," Bakkey said.
It looked great -- looked like a great opportunity to start fresh and start a new family," Estby said.
But the excitement for the couple would soon fall out of place and out a $1,000 Western Union deposit to fake realestate people, using real, local rental information.
"The back of my mind, I thought, well, maybe this is too good to be true. We had talked about it, and we were willing to take that risk because the housing market is so competitive up here," Bakkey said.
While the couple is now forced back into their family's home to save up for another deposit, they're hoping their story will stop others from becoming a victim of renter fraud.
"It was our fault. We feel very dumb for it, but it can happen to anybody," Bakkey said.
"I was just too trusting and I've never dealt with any transactions like that through Western Union," Estby said."It may sound all good through e-mails and pictures and rental applications, but if you can't meet them, don't do it. I mean, it was a very hard lesson for us to learn not to be so trusting," Bakkey added.
Police ask you to report fraudulent activity to Craiglist and your local law enforcement.