The Reeves family was new to the Arizona Valley area and they thought they had found the perfect home to rent, listed in Craigslist.
The Reeves family consists of nine members and they lost their savings after falling for an elaborate rental scam listed on Craigslist.
Matthew Reeves and his wife met a man and his wife, Jim and Jaime Williams, that they thought were the owners of the house, painters were painting, but other work needed to be done to make the house ready for occupants. They made arrangements to do the carpets, maintenance and get the locks changed in return for a discount on their deposit. They signed the lease and got their receipt for $1,500.
Then they went home to celebrate.
The next day they went and started cleaning the home and then on Saturday, they started the move but when they got there Pam Dambley, the actual owner of the house was there.
She recounts her conversation with the Reeves':
“I said, ‘Excuse me, you live here?’ And he says, ‘We just rented it,’ and I said, ‘From who?’
Matthew Reeves says he and his wife just cried.
The $1,500 they had given to the fake owners was all they had.
The Dambley's, showing compassion that not many would, felt for the Reeves family and allowed them stay and gave them August for free since they had lost all their money.
The Reeves refer to her as their angel.
Peoria Arizona police are asking for the public's help in looking for the scam artists responsible. They are described as "a short heavyset woman and a man with crooked teeth and a heart tattooed on one hand. They were last seen driving a white Chevy Blazer."
The advice the police give to people looking to buy or rent a home is to check with the County Assessors Office to see who the actual homeowner is.
You can also go to companies like www.Titlesearches.com or other companies that provide the same type of service, and do a title search, it cost a relatively low amount of money, but they provide information about the current owner, the mortgage, tax information about how much taxes are paid for the home in question, and they also provide a copy of the warranty deed.
Scams like the one the Reeves' family became victims of was a rental scam, but title searches are just as important for those buying a home because one doesn't wish to invest their savings into a home that is about to go into foreclosure just to have the owners leave town with your money.
(Disclaimer- I do not work for Titlesearch.com, it is just an example given because their services were used for the home I live in and I was able to reference the paperwork to show what type of information they provided)