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Renter wants to warn others about East Nashville rental scam

Posted September 4

— A Murfreesboro resident wants to warn others about a scam involving rental properties in East Nashville.

Tyler Murtaugh says he and his wife were looking to move to East Nashville and were looking for a rental property.

They found one on Craigslist that seemed too good to be true.

"We spent all day on Craigslist looking at places," said Murtaugh. "We found a house, two-bedroom, 700 square feet for only $600 a month."

Murtaugh says the listing was posted by Bishop William Wack, who claimed to be a priest from Florida. He was listing a house in the 2900 block of Scott Avenue. Most other rental properties in the area go for at least twice the amount he was asking.

"(Wack) made it a point that it wasn't about the money, that's why he was renting it out so cheap. He wanted someone to take care of his house," said Murtaugh.

Wack asked Murtaugh to send the deposit, and then Wack would mail him the keys. However, Murtaugh did his due diligence and found that Wack did not own the property.

"We filled out his questionnaire, and everything, we did the application, and at the end of it, he was ready to accept the payment," Murtaugh explained. "We wouldn't feel comfortable giving a stranger money without meeting him or seeing the home that we would potentially be living in."

The Federal Trade Commission offers some important tips to avoid rental scammers:

First, be wary when they tell you to wire money. Once you send it, you have no way to get it back

Be skeptical if they want a security deposit or first month's rent before you have met or signed a lease

If you cannot meet in person or sign a lease before you pay, keep looking

If you find the same ad listed under a different name, it may be a scam

Do your due diligence and search for additional info on the owner and listing

1 Comment

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  • Maureen Mercer Sep 4, 3:39 p.m.
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    Sounds like Bishop Wack needs to preach from inside prison.