Debra Wasserman

Skokie police

Skokie Woman Posed As Landlord On Craigslist In Apartment Rental Scam

August 15, 2019 - 7:47 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Skokie woman has been charged with posing as a landlord to steal rent money and security deposits from apartment hunters. 

Debra Wasserman, 36, was charged Aug. 10 with three counts of felony theft by deception, according to Skokie police.

Skokie police said Wasserman went on Craigslist calling herself Sarah Goldberg and told several people she had an apartment to rent, provided lease agreements to some of them, and took security deposits and rent from them.

Police said later the victims couldn’t reach her.

Steve Bernas of the Better Business Bureau said such scams are fairly common. He said do some research and make sure the apartment offer is legitimate before paying any money.

"Put in the phone number in a Google search and do some other research on that particular person; and obviously go visit the property itself," Bernas said.

Skokie police are looking for other possible victims.

Investigators said Wasserman also has six outstanding warrants for identity theft, residential burglary, theft, and escape.

Anyone with information regarding the incident can contact Det. Dale Anderson at 847-982-5938 or the Skokie Police Department at 847-982-5900. The 24-hour Skokie Crime Tip Hotline is 847-933-TIPS (8477).

Wasserman appeared for a bond hearing Aug. 11 and was denied bail, according to police.