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STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – Authorities in Stillwater are warning residents about a scam involving rental property.

Officials with the Stillwater Police Department say a local couple’s lease expired, so they began searching for properties on Craigslist.

Once they found a house, they tried to contact the number on the listing but didn’t get an answer. However, they were able to text the number.

Authorities say the couple received a contract to lease the property and sent the suspect their deposit.

When the couple arrived to move in, they realized the house had been recently sold.

In the end, they lost thousands of dollars due to the scam.

Officials say most Stillwater rental properties are managed by a local property management office. If not, you should do your own research on properties that are privately owned and managed.

The police department also released the following tips:

  • Check the county assessor’s website to verify that the person owns the property
  • Verify the contact phone number on an online search engine
  • Have voice conversations
  • See the property in-person and ask for a walk-through with the owner/manager
  • If the property is cheaper than most houses in the area, it is probably too good to be true.