Your house is for rent online and you don't even know it

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by Chris Nagus and John O'Sullivan

KMOV.com

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 2 at 10:59 PM

(KMOV) -- Imagine your home is for sale or for rent and you don't even know it, it might sound impossible, but it's happening right here in the St. Louis area.

It can happen to anyone whose property was ever listed on the Internet.
   
Trina Elliott wanted to rent an O'Fallon, Illinois duplex she found online.
“The guy emailed me back and said it was a 3 year lease because he was in the military in London" said Elliott.
               
She thought that made sense because the duplex is near Scott Air Force Base.
               
The home is actually owned by a man named Michael McCurley, and that matched up with the email address Elliott was corresponding with.
               
But Elliott started getting suspicious when the emailer asked her to wire a $950 deposit.
               
She still hadn't seen the inside, and then she saw a car in the driveway, so she knocked.
               
Elliott told News 4 “some young guy answered the door and said he had been living there for two weeks."
 
Someone is using the real Mike McCurley to rip off unsuspecting people like Elliott, even using his real name to form a real email account for a bogus offer.
               
“I think they are the lowest scum on earth, that's as simple as I can put it”, said the real Mike McCurley.

 

So News 4 wanted to see if the fake Mike McCurley would make us the same deal.

               
A News 4 Producer sent him an email asking about the same property and he responded almost immediately.
               
He told us we could even swing by and takes a look and asked for a $950 deposit.
 
The real Mike McCurley says this is the second time someone has tried to rent one of his properties, without his knowledge.
               
Also one of our news managers at KMOV says someone posted his house for rent online without his knowledge.
               
He did not realize his house was listed for rent until people starting knocking on the door asking for a tour.

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