The Campbell Police Department arrested a prolific Craigslist rental scammer and is now seeking the public’s assistance in identifying additional victims.
Since June 2019, the Campbell Police Department has investigated six incidents of rental scams by the same suspect. The suspect posted advertisements on Craigslist for either a room or an apartment for rent. He listed them at below market rates, which attracted prospective renters.
The suspect met with would-be renters, signed rental agreements and took their deposits. He later contacted them, saying that the rental was no longer available. He then wrote refund checks using an account with insufficient funds which resulted in significant financial loss to the victims. During the investigation, the suspect was identified as Robert Milo, 23 years of Campbell.
In September 2019, Milo, was arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for an outstanding felony warrant for writing bad checks, stemming from a San Jose Police Department rental scam case. In October 2019, less than a month after being released on Supervised Own Recognizance Program (SORP), the sixth Campbell victim reported that Milo had defrauded them using the same Craigslist rental scam. Over the last four months, Milo defrauded the six known Campbell victims out of more than $18,000.
On Nov. 5, 2019, Campbell Detectives located an ad on Craigslist in which Milo was advertising his apartment for rent. Detectives posed as prospective renters and Milo agreed to meet an hour later to show them the apartment, sign a contract and hand over the keys.
He asked for $2,400 in cash or cashier’s check. Detectives met Milo in the parking lot of his apartment complex on Union Avenue and he immediately fled on foot after seeing officers. After a short foot pursuit, Milo was taken into custody and charged with three counts of fraud, one count of attempted fraud, three counts of writing fraudulent checks, one count of committing a felony while on supervised release, and one count of resisting arrest.
At this time, the Campbell Police Department believes there are additional victims of Milo’s rental scams and have not reported their incidents to law enforcement. The amount of money Milo fraudulently obtained may be significantly greater than $18,000.
These are some of the rental addresses that Milo has used to scam his victims:
- 710 Nido Drive, Campbell
- 235 Union Ave, Campbell
- 3200 Payne Ave, San Jose
The Campbell Police Department encourages all potential renters to do their research to avoid being victims of rental scams.
For more information on how to identify fraudulent listings and avoid rental scams, please visit the following websites:https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0079-rental-listing-scams
If you have information regarding these incidents or are the victim of a similar rental scam in Campbell, please call the 24-hour dispatch center at (408) 866-2101 or the Investigations Unit at (408) 871-5190. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the free mobile application (Campbell Police Department), downloadable from the App Store or Google Play.