PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man was arrested after investigators say he scammed people out of thousands of dollars through a Craigslist ad.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said Bradley Philan, 40, put up rental ads on Craigslist for his mother’s house on SW 172nd Avenue in Aloha.
Deputies said he gave potential renters tours and collected thousands in deposits and rent from the victims through Venmo or using the Square app.
Jerry Yeh tried to rent the home and told KOIN 6 News everything, including the paperwork, looked legitimate.
Yeh was all set but just before he was due to move in, Philan told him he was buying a house and it didn’t pan out.
“It was this really long drawn out excuse,” Yeh said. “It just seemed like he had a lot of excuses during the whole process so it seemed a little shady going forward.”
Yeh got his $1,700 back but it was an inconvenience because he’d already moved out of his previous rental.
“People rent places from other people all the time and I’ve been doing this for 19 years every year and I’ve never encountered this,” Yeh said. “I’m usually careful. Usually, when you meet up with someone, it’s likely not a scam.”
In some cases, Philan would give refunds “but more often, he would gamble the money away,” officials said.
Philan’s family reported the scam to the sheriff’s office.
Investigators believe he got more than $13,000 from victims since May. His family reimbursed two victims for $7,000, but investigators want to identify other victims who haven’t come forward.
“I always told myself it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Yeh said. “And it was just on the verge of being too good to be true and I probably should’ve listened to my gut and not do it.”
If you know anything, call the sheriff’s office at 503.629.0111.