• Anonymous donor gives $2,000 to St. Augustine father, son who lost thousands in internet scam

    By: Russell Colburn


    ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Action News Jax has a wonderful update to a story of a local father and son who fell victim to a Craigslist rental scam.

    Wednesday, we told you Tom and Nicholas Markovich lost thousands in the scam they said was about to leave them homeless.

    Thursday, an anonymous donor saw our story and asked us to hand deliver them a check for the $2,000 they lost to get back on their feet.

    “Wow, thank you so much,” Tom Markovich said, receiving the check.  “Unbelievable.”

    “We had absolutely [nothing] left to secure a place of residence, let alone anything to eat,” he added.
    Markovich was overwhelmed, knowing his prayers were answered.


    “This is a recovery. This is a safety net,” he said.  “This is someone who reached out to us and went well beyond what anything I can even imagine asking for.”

    The owner didn’t want his name or face out there but would let us say it’s from North Florida Home Renovations.

    He said Markovich’s story resonated with him as he, too, has fallen on hard times.

    “From my heart, I can’t thank them enough,” Markovich said.

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    Action News Jax told you Wednesday that Markovich and his son - who suffers from cerebral palsy and seizures - must be out of the home on Prince Phillip Drive in St. Augustine Saturday as the new tenants will be moving in.

    Markovich saw a fake ad on Craigslist, which is still up, and paid $2,000 in money orders for rent to who he thought was the owner.

    He quickly learned it was all a scam.

    On a fixed income, he worried he and his son would have nowhere to turn.

    Now, this father and son plan to use the money to find a new place, then, pay this gesture forward.

    “Someday, when I’m in a position to help someone, I promise I will return the favor,” Markovich said.

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