MADISON, TN (WSMV) - A Nashville man is out thousands of dollars after falling for a rental property scam. He wants to warn people so it doesn't happen to anyone else.
A three bedroom, two bathroom house in Madison was listed on Craigslist for $1045 per month. It's a deal Greg Oliveras couldn't pass up.
"My eagerness clouded my gut instinct and I let that kind of take point for me," Oliveras said.
Nearly three weeks ago, he contacted the landlord about a Heritage View Boulevard home.
A man who goes by the name Phil Mechanick wrote back saying he was looking for a "good and responsible tenant."
The man gave Oliveras a code to unlock the lock box to get the key and look around.
"Once I got into the property, totally let my guard down," Oliveras said.
He filled out a rental application with Main Street Renewals, which is a real company. Mechanick claimed to work with them.
Convinced it was legitimate, Oliveras paid a security deposit and first month's rent through a banking app.
"It would be pretty easy for anybody to get fooled at first glance if you weren't really looking hard given the branding of the emails," Oliveras said.
The biggest red flag came when the real Main Street Renewals had questions about his application. They told Oliveras they didn't know the man he had been working with.
"They said 'did you send any money to this person?' Yes. $2090 and they said 'I hate to tell you this, but you've been scammed and there's nothing we can do.'"
News4 called the man listed on the ad, but he didn't pick up.
Oliveras filed reports with several agencies including Metro police.
They sent him a letter confirming what he already knew.
"I just don't want anyone to experience the shame or disappointment or embarrassment that I experienced," Oliveras said.
It turns out you can rent the house for seven hundred more dollars per month.
Oliveras said he talked with his bank to see if he can get his money back. They told him there's no guarantee he will.