ROANOKE, Va. -

Renting a place to live can be daunting. But when Kerri Austin and Adam King found a Craiglist ad with what they thought was the perfect house at a pleasingly low price, they were thrilled.

"We found one that we really like and we contacted the people every day and we kept in contact they checked our references, they even sent us a lease," King said.

Seems like the standard procedure, until it was clear the couple had been scammed.

"After we made the first month's rent and deposit, they never sent us the keys," King added..

Even worse?  They found out this house on Cook Avenue wasn't it even for rent, it was for sale by a realtor; the same realtor who alerted King and Austin that they had been swindled.

"All I wanted was a house. To be able to have my son come see me, or grow a garden," Austin said.

"You can't really cry over spilled milk but by the same token, it's kind of a letdown because I work hard for my money," Austin added.

Austin and King are now out over 12-hundred dollars and living on two small incomes.  Julie Wheeler of the Better Business Bureau says this could've been prevented.

"Meet your landlord if at all possible; you want to see the inside before you make a deposit," said Julie Wheeler, with the Better Business Bureau.

"Don't wire money, don't send them a money packed card. Use Paypal or another third party escrow service," Wheeler added.

Good advice this couple wished they had just a few weeks ago.

"We didn't even think about it because we thought they were well based, honest people," King said.

"It was just the wrong thing to do. We shouldn't have done that.  You know, you learn from your mistakes," Austin added.

A mistake both Kerri and Adam will never make again.

The couple has since contacted the police and The Better Business Bureau.

Unfortunately, they will not be able to get their money back but have started saving again for another place.