Consumer Alerts

Murfreesboro woman warning residents after losing money in rental home scam

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) - A woman was recently scammed out of $900 and it's an issue that’s happening more often.  

When Melissa King and her family arrived at the rental home, they knew it was the one.  

 "This is our dream house.  My kids were excited and so was I."  

An ad posted on Zillow had it listed for $900 a month, a steal.  

"There are three bedrooms, there's a bonus room.  I mean it had everything we didn't expect to have," said King.  

The man who she thought was the landlord made arrangements for her to see it. There were even maintenance workers inside.  

"He told us a time and day to come and we came, we viewed the house, we liked it on spot, and we called him and said we want the house," said King.  

She transferred $900 for the deposit via Walmart to the man in New York. After getting the money, he stopped all communications with her. 

"It really makes me; I'm really upset because this took everything we had to get, to thinking that this was the home we had been praying for." 

The home was for rent by American Homes. Their actual rent is around $1,900 a month.  

There is even a sign on the door warning of rental home scams.  

Property Management Inc. Is a national home rental company. They told News 2 they've seen an uptick in home rental scams.  

President Scott Albernathy said to be weary of websites like Craigslist, where anybody can place an ad and never wire money.  

"Stick with the professionally managed properties.  Those are going to be boots on the ground in your area," said Albernathy.  

Albernathy said there is a shortage of rental properties. He said his company manages about 400 properties, but right now he only has 10 available for rent.  

 "Quite a bit scarcity of property to rent which makes it difficult for folks to find places to rent." 

Meanwhile, King is about to have surgery and was looking forward to a house to come home to with her kids.  

"A grown man wouldn't take advantage of children like that for his own personal gain," said King.  

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