Saturday, February 21, 2009


A lot of folks in Tampa thought it might be a good idea to raise some cash by renting out their homes for the Superbowl. At least one outfit they turned to, however, seems to have thought it was a good way to fleece sports fans.
Some people who saw the Super Bowl as an opportunity to make some extra cash by renting out their homes are now trying to get their money back -so far, without much luck.

Steve Melone is one of the residents who hoped the Super Bowl would help them bring in a bit of extra money after he lost his job in September.

"My wife and I saw it as an opportunity to get caught up on our bills," he said.

Melone signed a rental contract with an Arizona-based rental company and sent in a $900 refundable deposit. But shortly afterward, something strange happened.

"The representative was talking to me and then his personal cell phone rang," he said. "He put me on table hold, he put the receiver down, and he answered the phone with a different name."

It turns out his home was never rented, and he can no longer get in touch with the company to get his deposit back.

The article goes on to say that those defrauded by this scheme are seeking redress from an assortment of law-enforcement and regulatory bodies, with a range of results - including the Department of Agriculture's statement that it does not regulate such businesses.

Locally, signs remain for this type of business, promising up to $10,000.00 for such rentals. It sounds like easy money. For at least one out-of-state business, apparently it was.

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