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Flagstaff Police Department

Fraudulent schemes

A woman visiting Flagstaff from Kansas found that the home she rented was actually owned, after spending $2050 on an advertised rental on Craigslist.

On the afternoon of Sept. 5, the woman arrived at a Country Club Drive residence expecting to see a vacant home ready for her month-long stay. However, the people who actually owned the home had lived there for 15 years.

The rent for the house was listed at $950, with a deposit of $1000 and $100 cleaning fee.

The woman had hoped to rent a place for the month of September while staying to watch her granddaughter play volleyball. The person she allegedly interacted with went by the name of "April." The money was handled through online banking.

While the victim was told that the home was currently occupied by another renter, she was told that they would move out at the end of August. She was also told not to disturb them.

Thinking that request reasonable, she did not contact the homeowners. As the rental date neared, she did not hear from April again. When she arrived at the house and met the homeowners she realized she was defrauded of her money.

April's number was provided to the responding officer. It was a local number, but did not work.

The case is pending further review.


Separately, a father reported that his child had spent $900 on a mountain bike on a fraudulent Craigslist offer, on Sept 5. The advertised mountain bike was still on Craigslist at the time of the report, which was early that day.

According to the police report, the purchase took place on Sept. 3 after the son had found a bike "he really wanted to buy" on online. The seller told the child that he needed to pay for the bicycle through eBay, and that he needed to pay for the bike with eBay gift cards.

The child then got the gift cards and sent the card information to the seller. The father realized the purchase was a scam at this point because there was no tracking number or receipt given in exchange for the purchase. After contacting eBay, the father was informed that eBay did not have any record of the mountain bike or the purchase made.

The email exchange was provided to the responding officer and entered as evidence.

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On Sept. 4, an elderly woman reported a theft of her home near downtown while she was being attended to at the Flagstaff Medical Center.

When the woman returned home in a taxi after spending over a week in the hospital, she noticed that the metal screen door to her apartment was locked with the deadbolt. However her main door was slightly cracked open. After entering her apartment, she noticed that all of her prescription medication was missing, as well as $200 in cash. Nothing else in the apartment seemed to have been moved or missing.

The elderly woman knew that the medication bottles were mostly full, but did not know how many pills there were exactly.

All of the victim's windows and entrances to her home were shut and locked. The responding officer noted no signs of forced entry, and the key hole did not appear to be damaged or tampered with in any way.

She asked to be medically transported back to the medical center for evaluation. The officer secured all entries to the home before leaving.

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