Rent Scams Take on Permian Basin 9/4/12
CBS 7 News
September 4, 2012
Finding a house or an apartment can be virtually impossible.
That may be why scammers have zeroed in on the Permian basin, offering deals that appear to be the answer so many are looking for.
For a million-dollar home was advertised as a rental at just 800 dollars a month.
but it was ll fake.
Eddie Garcia with Deriso and Haynes Realty says they get calls at least twice a week from people asking if a home they saw on Craig's list is for rent.
“I tell them it’s not it, out homes are strictly for sale,” he said.
In fact the company doesn't even handle rental properties. Garcia says scammers are taking pictures of the homes from the appraisal district website and using them to trick buyers into thinking the home is for rent. He says scammers will even pretend they are the owners.
Victims tell CBS 7 the scammers claim to be from out of town and they need a large down payment wired to them to complete the deal.
“People are desperate to find a place to lease or rent,” Garcia said.
So desperate, they'll bite even when they know it's too good to be true.
Christen Gill and her family just moved to west texas, she understands the pressure to find a house in a very tight market.
“We would have been very grateful to get that house for 800 a month,” Gill said, “It would have been a steal.”
And a steal it is, law enforcement says these type of theft hard to track because many of these scammers are operating out of the country.
“You just want something so bad,” Gill said, “To get settled and your kids enrolled
so you'll go for what ever you can find out there.”