- Published on Saturday, 28 July 2012 00:56
- Written by Super User
Left to right: Wendy George-Rickman and Michael David Rickman. Both were arrested by Carolina Beach Police July 17, for running a vacation rental scam on numerous people over a number of months.
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
CAROLINA BEACH - Two people are behind bars after Carolina Beach Police arrested them on fraud charges for taking reservations for vacation condo rentals and failing to deliver. In some cases never returning deposits. In a couple of cases, they put vacationers in a condo they had formerly rented, vacated and kept a key. A housekeeper told people they had no right to be in that condo.
Carolina Beach Police arrested Wendy George, a.k.a Wendy George-Rickman, and Michael David Rickman, Jr on July 17 after over a month of investigating and finally tracking them to a hotel in Jacksonville, NC.
The couple had been living in Carolina Beach for a short time and Wendy had posted advertisements on the website craigslist.org taking reservations to rent a condo at Paradise Towers they were currently renting from a local property management company.
The most recent and 12th victim was scammed via cell phone text message while Wendy was in the booking room at the police station. She told detectives she was texting a bail bondsman and instead was confirming someone put money in her account on the condo.
Carolina Beach Police Detective Harry Humphries said in early June a couple living near Fayetteville came to the police department reporting a possible scam on June 11th. He said, "They said they had answered an ad on craigslist that was renting a condo at Paradise Towers - and there are other legitimate rentals at Paradise Towers - it was $150 a night, pay half up front, do it by money order or check deposited" into Wendy's bank account.
Humphries said it was a legitimate looking ad on craigslist. He said the couple made the arrangements, put money in Wendy's bank account and then conversation between Wendy George-Rickman and the Ingram’s ceased.
He said, "They were supposed to be renting the condo for the week of the 15th of June. They were near Fayetteville and came in and said, we've got a feeling something is not right here."
Humphries said he advised them that until the weekend had come and gone and Wendy didn't live up to deal, there was no case.
The very next day on June 12, another lady came to the police station. She gave Wendy a deposit for the weekend of June 8th. Humphries said, "The same basic thing. I put mone