Middletown man ensnared in home rental scam

Posted at 12:00 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-04 23:29:00-05

CINCINNATI -- A Middletown man on disability from his job lost hundreds of dollars in a housing scam.

Jeffrey Curry King, 51, told The Journal-News he is on disability from his job at American Airlines and needed a home fast.

While living with a friend, King found an ad on that sounded too good to be true.

It was a two-bedroom home on Queen Avenue that was available for $450 per month. It even had appliances and utilities.

All he had to do was send first month’s rent and a deposit and a key to the home would be mailed to him.

Here’s the issue – the home was occupied.

According to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office, King was one of about 1,200 people who reported scams to the office in 2015.

After contacting the man who claimed to own the home, King checked it out several times before noticing that someone was there.

He knocked on the door and met Kimberly Carroll, 46, who was shocked to learn someone was trying to rent out her home.

“I told him nothing in here was for rent for $450 a month,” Carroll said.

The woman said King was the fourth person to stop by and say they wanted to rend the property. She said she’s concerned for her safety based on all the visits and the online ad.

Both King and Carroll said the scammer wrote a convincing story about how he was away on missionary work.

At the end of his ordeal, King said he was out hundreds of dollars and had this warning for others: “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

For more on this story, click here for The Journal-News.