Don’t believe everything you read on Craigslist.
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.