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"We were so sad": Man scammed $1700 on Craigslist for fake condo rental in Naples

Posted at 4:13 PM, Mar 05, 2024

NAPLES, Fla — A Boston man says he was scammed more than $1,700 after he tried to rent an apartment in Naples off of Craigslist. The Collier County Sheriff's office says it is investigating.

Thomas Freeman was looking for a fresh start when he made the drive down to Naples with his partner Patricia in March. The two had found a listing on Craigslist for an apartment at the Falling Waters Complex off of David Blvd and were all set to move in.

The place seemed legit and the price looked reasonable to them but when Thomas and Patricia arrived, the owner had no clue who they were.

"I've heard of seniors getting scammed but I never thought it would happen to us," Freeman said.

The real owner of the apartment said he wasn't renting it out and didn't post any ads online.

Freeman called the Sheriff's office right away.

"We were all excited for it for the past two months, discussed what we going to take and what we were going to do and all of these things that really kind of brightened our days," Freeman shared. "It hurt so much, we were really looking forward to this" he added.

The Collier County Sheriff's office which says it is investigating the case. The agency did not provide further details.

Freeman said after the ordeal he turned around and headed back to Boston. He shared his advice for people dealing online:

"Make sure you speak to somebody on the phone... or potentially meet with them if you can or have someone you know down there meet with them or contact a realtor to know if they're legit or not," Freeman advised.

Freeman says he does not intend on returning to Naples anytime soon.