When the Gardners started planning their annual family vacation, looking up condos on Craigslist was nothing out of the norm.
“We have done this a hundred times, going to different places,” Oscar D. Gardner explained to News 2.
His wife searched Isle of Palms vacation condos for rent and found an available property under a man that went by the name of Raymond Dillon.
After several email exchanges and phone calls, the Gardners sent him a $775 deposit. They then traveled with nine family members to South Carolina for their Fourth of July vacation.
“We showed up and the condo unit wasn’t there. He wasn’t there, the unit wasn’t there and we were in Charleston with no place to stay. The address was wrong, the contact information was wrong and we realized in short order we had been scammed,” said Gardner.
They had completed confirmation and reservation forms, but when they tried to call Dillon and his phone was disconnected.
The family did not let him spoil their trip. They were able to find a one bedroom condo to squeeze into and made the best of their week vacation.
“Nine of us slept in a one bedroom condominium. We slept on the floor, in the beds, on the ironing board whatever we could find,” Gardner explained.
He just hopes no one else becomes an online victim.
The Murfreesboro family filed a police report in South Carolina, where police said this has been happening often.
The Gardners paid with their Visa card through PayPal. They are now working with the credit card company to get their deposit back.