Palm Springs Couple Fighting Rental Scam
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
PALM SPRINGS- A family in Palm Springs says they're out hundreds of dollars after paying a deposit on a condo. The woman they paid the money to is no where to be found. The couple called KMIR6 News and asked us to investigate.
After coming coming across a posting online for a condo that said to act fast for two months free rent, the couple says they gave a $500 deposit to the woman living at the Palm Springs Villa condo. The couple says the woman claimed to be the owner. Now the woman is gone and not returning any calls.
"I just hope she feels bad because I don't care about us, it's my son that she put out. It's like, how can you do that? Do you have no heart?" said Nadine Guerro at the property with her fiance Jonathan Merchain and their newborn baby.
The couple says when they came to move in the place, they found a for sale sign with another woman's contact information posted on the door as the realtor. KMIR6 caught the realtor leaving the condo and asked her where the woman is who lived at the place just a few days ago. The realtor did not answer.
Property documents say an Enrique Martinez is the owner not the
woman that the couple says posed as the owner online.
"Fraud suspects can copy information…take all data on a house and turn
around and post a fraudulent rental," said Sgt. Mike Kovalef of Palm Springs Police.
To protect yourself, officials say, ask for identification, pull up property
records from the county assessors office, and never give cash.
"There's really no recourse for them," said Officer Merrit Chassie, who was at the complex taking the couple's complaints.
"We are on the whole other side of the table now," said Merchain.
"We never thought that this was going to happen to us, we see this all the time happening, and we are like oh we are smart, we are too smart for that," said Guerro.
With their belongings in boxes, now the couple is scrambling to find a place to live.
Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News.