MILWAUKEE — Sharon Phillip served 51/2 years in the Navy and suffers from PTSD. While using the apartment hunting app, Zumper, one place on 6th and Wisconsin in Milwaukee caught her eye.
The landlord, who identified herself as Donna McDonald, appeared to work for the Department of Defense and other military programs. She felt a connection.
“Being a disabled veteran, I thought how perfect,” Phillip said.
Until she read more of the application.
“It was asking for photos of myself and anyone else in the family. Why would you need that if you are going to meet me and show me the apartment?” Phillip said.
The application also asks for the name of your pet if you have one.
“It was just very, very strange and odd,” she continued.
Her instinct was spot on.
“I got an email from Zumper, telling me that the ad was removed due to suspicious activity and to have no further contact with them,” Phillip said.
Phillip decided to still reach out to the supposed landlord.
“I'm like, 'Are you aware that your ad was taken down off of Zumper?' ” Phillip said.
“The next day, they said, 'Please fill out the application.' ”
“I never responded,” said Phillip.
When the I-Team emailed them, we got the same response:
"Kindly fill the rental application before we proceed to next step."
The I-Team wanted to know if the rental unit was available for rent and reached out to the Wisconsin Tower Condominiums, the address listed in the ad.
A spokesperson said they alerted the current owner but didn't feel the need to comment and that "it appears someone is taking photos from MLS listings and making fake/scam apartment postings to collect people's information."
“Had I filled out that application and submitted my photo, God only knows what else they would have wanted from me,” Phillip said.
“It's just so wrong on so many levels,” she said.
The I-Team also contacted Zumper. A spokesperson said if it is notified of a fraudulent listing, it's removed within 24 hours and that any user can flag a suspicious posting on the app.