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Provo Craigslist rental ad scam busted, traced to Nigeria

Provo Craigslist rental ad scam busted, traced to Nigeria


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PROVO — Folks often hear about online scams that come from Nigeria, but Provo police were able to help at least slow one scam ring down after the middleman was caught.

According to Provo PD, a person wanted to rent a house in Provo and they found a deal on craigslist. They emailed and even talked on the phone about the contract with a person who said they were an attorney. But it was a scam.

The victim sent a moneygram for $846, but police tracked the moneygram to Conneticut and police there caught the person who cashed it, 47 year old Tammy Minnerly.

"Her role was just to pick up the moneygram, cash it and then forward it," said Provo Police Sgt. Brandon Post. "She actually forwarded the majority to Nigeria after she kept her portion."

The middleman was linked to numerous Nigerian scams.

Post says anytime you buy through online classifieds you have to be careful about who you are dealing with. He also says pay with a check instead of a moneygram because it leaves an easier paper trail to follow.

""Scam artists are always devising new ways to steal money from innocent victims," said Chief Rick Gregory in a release. "If citizens chose to respond to an online ad to rent a home we recommend they take a few steps to protect themselves. Deal with someone in person and do a walk-through of the property to confirm they are the owners."

Minnerly was charged with 5th degree larceny.

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Randall Jeppesen

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