Mother of 4 warns others after losing $2K in rental scam

Scam Busters

A mother of four said she was scammed out of $2,000 right before Christmas while trying to rent a home for her family.  

Spring Russell said she is now warning others if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.  

Russell told News 2 she thought she found the home of her dreams a 2,159 square foot beauty in the Cloister subdivision in Murfreesboro.  

“It was beautiful; it was just our dream come true,” Russell said. “I went home and told the kids about it and then I called the gentleman back and said the kids wanted to see it because they saw how excited I was.   

Everything seemed to be on the up and up.  

The man, who Russell thought was the owner, gave her a lock-box code to get into the home, and a different code the second time she visited.  

“Called the gentleman, said, ‘Yes, we definitely want this house,’” Russell recalled.  “So, he gave us a Chase bank account, he said, ok, after we fill out the application go ahead and deposit the first-month rent and the security deposit.”  

Two-thousand dollars in all, but when Russell called back to get the key, but the man didn’t respond.  

“Started calling back, waiting for the lease, we packed up ready to move the next day in the home and nothing, we heard absolutely nothing from the man,” she said.  

Russell told News 2 the man basically stole from her.  

“I was robbed for $2,000; my children were robbed,” she said.  

Two-thousand dollars in the hole right before Christmas.    

“It broke our hearts,” Russell said.  “We had, our lease had run up, so we have until the second, tomorrow, and you know we scrunched on Christmas because we were thinking we were going to get our dream home.”  

 Russell said she has since been able to find another home for her family.   

“By the grace of God, we’ve got us a new home. We’ve got a little financial difficulty getting everything together, but with the Lord, I know everything will be ok, we’ll get through it,” Russell said.  

She said the rental homeowner is working with her on paying the deposit.  

“We just got to do the water, electric and gas and move in,” she said.  “At one point, I thought we were going to be homeless.  I didn’t know what we were going to do right after Christmas.”  

With most of these types of home rental scams, there are normally a lot of red flags, but Russell told News 2 that wasn’t the case this time.  

“He went through the process, you know, for all purposes, he did play his role very well,” Russell said.  

She is now sending a warning to others who are looking online to rent a home.  

“Make sure you talk to more than one person about the property,” Russell said.  “Do your homework.  If you’ve got a feeling in your gut double check.  If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. You can’t be too careful these days with these evil people.”   

Since Tuesday was a holiday, News 2 was not able to get in touch with police or the Better Business Bureau.

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