Valerie Kumra was sitting at her house in Dillon Beach, a small waterfront community off Bodega Bay, one afternoon when she heard a knock on the door. This was in the fall of 2020, and COVID-19 cases were climbing again, so any unexpected visitors were especially unusual. Kumra answered the door and a young couple stood in front of her, looking excited.

Kumra stared back blankly, unsure of what to do.

The couple had “rented” Kumra’s home after seeing an ad on Craigslist, she learned, and they’d driven there from Sacramento. The creepiest part, Kumra said, was that the couple told her they had texted the alleged owners just 10 minutes before arriving to tell them they were almost there and they had responded that they would be there to greet them.

It all unraveled from there. The couple showed Kumra that they had paid the scammer via bank transfer, they had signed a contract that included Kumra and her husband’s name and the listing even included extensive photos and a description of the home. 

After attempting to help the weary travelers at least find somewhere to stay for the evening, the couple left, dejected and likely embarrassed, Kumra said. 

Kumra immediately got to work. She headed to the Craigslist vacation rentals section and it didn’t take her long to find the listing for her home….

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