Local woman out thousands of dollars after booking fake property on what she thought was Airbnb

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis woman said she was scammed out of $2600 while trying to rent a home listed on what she believed was a reputable site.

“Raccoons are coming through my attic, a paw got stuck and there’s a hole and my landlord is not doing anything about it,” said Eboni Weakley.

To get away from the pests, Weakley has been searching for a nice place to rent for several weeks. So she said when an ad popped up on the website socialserve.com listing a home in Midtown for rent, she quickly jumped on it.

“I inquired about this house, but she said she lived in Montana, her son was going to Christian Brothers University, but he went back home and she was renting it through Airbnb,” said Weakley.

All Weakley had to do was pay two months’ rent and put down a deposit using a pre-paid card totaling $2600 to secure the home, but once she did that she never heard from the landlord again.

FOX13 spoke with representatives from Airbnb. They said that is not their site, but a person’s who went through great lengths to make it look like it is.

“We do have some houses over here for sale and rent, but mine is not,” said the home’s owner Patricia Dees.

Dees told FOX13 she has owned the house for the last 22 years. She said this isn’t the first time someone has shown up on her doorstep looking to rent. A woman even showed up while we were there.

“Beware. Don’t send anyone money on a prepaid card. Talk to them face to face and investigate before you send your money. Things I should have done,” said Weakley.

To make sure you are not scammed, here are a few tips from Rentberry.com: Meet your landlord in person. Never rent without having a look at the actual place. If they ask for cash or a prepaid card like in Eboni’s case, that’s a red flag.

CLICK HERE for tips on how to spot if a website or email is real from Airbnb.