Denver, Colorado 2021-01-16 11:23:25 –
Aurora, Colorado — A woman found a house in perfect price and location, feeling too good to be true. She is now warning people about rental scams that may have left her on the street.
Christina Cimino has been searching for the perfect home for a family of four for over a month. And when she wasn’t expecting the most, she came across a three-bedroom home in Aurora near Mission Viejo Park on Facebook Marketplace, which is listed for $ 1,250 per month.
“They had an entire list of homes, house specs, square feet, everything-like the usual ads you see for rental,” Cimino said.
She immediately contacted the individual who posted the ad, he instructed her to contact the owner of the property, and gave her a phone number.
Cimino contacted the man by text message and set the date and time for the self-tour.
“Self-guided tours are a bit normal now, thanks to COVID, so I didn’t really think about it, but I usually type in the code,” says Cimino.
The house exceeded her expectations and met all the needs of the family.
“When I said’I want to borrow it’, everything started to solve,” Cimino said.
In a text message, the person who claimed to own the property requested a $ 2,500 deposit. Cimino became more cautious when he told her she didn’t have to fill out an application and wouldn’t get a real estate lease until she made a deposit.
The scammer wrote in the text message chain Cimino provided for Denver7, “You are 100% safe with me.”
Cimino felt unsafe and did its own research. She found the same home on the Invitation Homes website. It was listed at $ 2,395, about $ 1,200 higher than Facebook’s price.
Cimino asked the man in a text message if he was at Invitation Homes.
“He told me he was the owner and tired of how long it took Invitation Homes to rent a house,” Cimino said.
When she asked to meet him in person, he told her he was out of town. When she tried to call him, she said he couldn’t hear her voice. Their exchange was only through text messages. Worried, Cimino decided not to give money.
Denver 7 has contacted Invitation Homes. A spokesperson for the company confirmed that it owns a property located at 3855 Olathe Circle. Cimino of the same house toured.
The company offers self-show tours to potential renters. They just go to the website and fill out the form with their personal information. Once the background checks are cleared, they will receive a one-time code to tour the house.
We contacted a man who claimed to own a house. He had a strong accent and kept repeating that he was the owner of the property, but we couldn’t hear our voice. He hung up twice and didn’t answer our question. I also contacted the man who posted the original ad on Facebook. There is no reply.
Invitation Homes representatives say they are aware of scams related to their property but have refused to interview with the camera. Instead, they issued a statement.
“We are always frustrated when we hear about this type of fraud that can have a devastating effect on victims. Our advice on fraud prevention is emotional plea, unusually high. Includes paying attention to deposits and enthusiastic demands for cash or wire transfers without the required background checks. “
Cimino admits that her young self would have fallen into a scam. Her attention to detail and wisdom prevented her from being scammed for thousands of dollars. She hopes her story will serve as a warning to others looking for a home.
“I don’t want others to be fooled by this scam,” Cimino said.
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