Woman without $600, place to live after Craigslist hoax in Apollo

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APOLLO, Pa. - A woman moving into a new rental home in Apollo on Friday got a surprise when she was told the house wasn’t for rent.

Deborah Harrington said she discovered the house for rent in Apollo on Craigslist about two weeks ago and contacted who she thought was the owner in Tennessee.

Harrington agreed to send the owner $600 through Western Union and began moving boxes into a shed behind the house. However, she said she noticed the front door kicked in, so she began moving the boxes inside the home.

“He told me well go ahead and finish moving my stuff in and they will send me the keys out,” said Harrington.

Once Harrington had all her stuff moved in, she said a real estate agent along with state police showed up at her door Monday night and told her to get out.

Harrington said she learned the house was actually never for rent and was actually foreclosed and owned by a bank now. The home is currently for sale by Remax.

Police said the Craigslist posting was all a hoax, and Harrington, a single mother of two, is now out of $600 and a place to live.

“I'm hurt because he says it's a possibility they could find them and go to jail, but there’s no means to get my money back,” said Harrington.

Harrington is currently living with her sister until she can find another place.

State police are investigating the incident as a theft by deception.

Over the past several years, Target 11’s Rick Earle has investigated similar complaints, but said this is the first time a victim actually moved into a house.

Experts say that the best advice in similar circumstances is to make sure to meet face-to-face with the seller.