Don’t be­lieve ev­ery­thing you read on Craigslist.

Milwaukee Magazine - - Content - BY MATT HRODEY

Craigslist swin­dles

HE GOES BY the name Don­ald Shaw, or Vic­tor Mills. He’s a scam­mer with a Texas area code and an ever-chang­ing email ad­dress, and he con­ducts hous­ing scams of a type that has reached our good, clean Mil­wau­kee. The basic for­mat in­volves grab­bing a photo of a house from a realestate web­site such as Zil­low and post­ing a fake ad on Craigslist or an­other site, promis­ing low, low rent, $200-$300 cheaper than re­quired else­where. One at­tempted con from ear­lier this year in­volved a house at 2877 N. 72nd St., a cute Cape Cod owned and rented out by Mil­wau­kee lawyer Aaron Kas­tens – who had no idea the joint had been listed il­lic­itly by Mills on Craigslist for $700 a month. When a Mil­wau­kee Mag­a­zine editor in­quired about the prop­erty, the fol­low­ing ex­change took place over email:

Vic­tor Mills didn’t re­spond. While some rental scams are more am­bi­tious, ask­ing for both the first month’s rent up front and a se­cu­rity de­posit, this one was rel­a­tively con­ser­va­tive.

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