Rental housing scam in Redford - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Rental housing scam in Redford

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REDFORD, Mich. (WJBK) - Taisha Terrell and her seven children have nowhere to go. She and her sister just paid thousands of dollars for a home on Delaware Street in Redford that she found on Craigslist, only to find out her landlord doesn't actually own the property.

The fake landlord calls himself Harvey Jones and he's done this before: breaking in to empty properties, changing the locks and showing them as if he's a legitimate realtor.

He struck just last week at another home that was for sale in Redford.

"This man has no ownership to the property and no right to be doing what he's doing," says Ryan Brandemihl with Boldwell Banker. He was so concerned about the scam that he found the guy on Craigslist and texted him, pretending he wanted to rent a home.

The landlord was ready to rent out a home on Delaware right away and said told Brandemihl to send the money via Western Union.  

Brandemihl called Redford police and told them what was going on. Then he called FOX 2.

FOX 2's Amy Lange went to the home on Monday, where she found the Terrell family with a lease and receipts.

"It seemed so legit. It seemed like you make the right moves to make sure you're not getting scammed, and you're still able to get scammed," says Terrell.

The house is actually bank owned by Fannie Mae. Redford police are now investigating.

Meanwhile, this family is trying to figure out what to do and this realtor is hoping no one else falls victim to the fake landlord.

Brandemihl reminds potential home buyers or renters to utilize realtors and not rely on online information.
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