VANCOUVER -- After living for a week in a Vancouver home Jennifer Bourne found on Craigslist, she says she was just about settled in and feeling good about it.
"We started exchanging e-mails and everything seemed legit," said Bourne.
The Bourne family had moved from Springfield and wired the rent and security deposit to the property's owner, who claimed to be a missionary who was renting out his Vancouver home while he was in Nigeria.
She said she felt confident because the name of the missionary matched the owner's name on the property records she pulled up online.
The family arrived with a full U-Haul trailer and expected to find a front door key. When it wasn't anywhere to be found they contacted the man they thought was the owner, and he told them it would be ok if they broke into the home through a window.
Once inside they discovered the place was trashed, nothing like the pictures they saw on Craigslist.
"The kitchen was absolutely horrifying, rat feces everywhere," said Bourne.
After a week of cleaning and painting the walls, they got a surprise visitor Thursday night. It was a woman claiming to have just purchased the property.
"She was really mad and I understand, I mean it's her house and we have no right to be here, but on our behalf, we really got scammed bad," Bourne said.
Now the Bournes are packing up and moving out by Saturday night. With no money and no place to go, they say they'll likely live in a tent for a while until they can find a home that truly is for rent.
It's a good reminder to avoid any transaction that requires you to wire money, unless you know exactly who you are dealing with.