Couple scrambling days before wedding after Craigslist scam

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on August 2, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 2 at 5:45 PM

The church is chosen, the flowers are picked, but one critical component is missing for one young couple's wedding.
 
Where will everybody sleep?

Alan Stout and his bride-to-be, Angela Miceli, thought Seattle would be the perfect place for an August wedding. Everyone in the wedding, even the bride and groom, are from out of town. So, Angela's dad rented a lovely house in Seattle’s University District for the nine-person wedding party. It was perfect, even walking distance to the church... or so they thought.

“We went to the house and knocked on the door, and there were people in the house,” said Angela. “They told us they were renting the house. I started to cry.”

It turns out the house was for rent, just not by the guy who rented it to the not-so-happy couple. And it isn’t the first time it has happened at the same house.

“I'm like, frick, this happened again,” said Brendan Kenny. “This is the fourth time in four months!”

Kenny’s uncle owns the house and rents it out as a vacation home. Kenny said scammers have taken an ad for the house, which is posted on legitimate rental sites, and copied it to Craigslist.

In this case, the family wired $3,000 for a two-week rental. Kenny had to break the news to the bride and groom.

“I felt terrible,” he said. “We found it on Craigslist before, and all we can do it flag it as spam. Other than that, it's a public classified ad. There's not much else we can do about it.”

Kenny urges people to only rent houses from legitimate sites, such as vrbo.com or homeaway.com, not Craigslist.

Despite the debacle, the wedding goes on, but not without the wrath of a scorned bride. 

“Actually, I e-mailed the guy last night, and I told him he is a bad person,” she said. “I told him I hope God's justice would strike upon him. (If there are any reports of someone getting struck by lightning), that’s the guy!”
  
The wedding is August 9th and the guests have already begun arriving. The bride and groom are in a hotel for now, but they’re still looking for a house to rent for the rest of the family and friends.  For now, Alan and Angela are focusing on their future, and happier times ahead.

“We called and made sure our honeymoon reservations are in-tact, and they are,” said the groom. “So, bring on the honeymoon!”

The family asks anyone who can help them with a rental house in Seattle to e-mail them at alanstout@gmail.com.

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