Middle Tennessee family homeless after rental scam - WSMV Channel 4

Middle Tennessee family homeless after rental scam

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A family thought it was renting this home that was actually for sale. (WSMV) A family thought it was renting this home that was actually for sale. (WSMV)
MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

A Middle Tennessee family is homeless after paying rent and getting the keys to what they thought was their new house. 

It turned out the home was not for rent, but for sale.

The family that moved in had 24 hours to get be out of the house and are now looking for another place to live. 

For privacy reasons the family that was scammed does not want us to use their last name. 

"I was shocked, literally shocked," said Tammy.

Tammy responded to a Craigslist ad for a home rental on Foxdale Drive in Murfreesboro.

The lady who responded to the ad Tammy said met her at the property and showed her around. 

She did a credit check and hours later called back and said she was good to move in. 

"We had started unpacking, I unpacked my kitchen and everything," said Tammy, after paying the woman $2,000.

On Wednesday, the day after the family moved in Tammy got a knock on the door from a real estate agent and police.

"I was in shock because I wasn't trespassing because I just paid someone $2,000 to move in here and have a signed lease agreement and everything," said Tammy, "So I immediately tried calling the lady I had been dealing with, but her phone number had been disconnected."

That Craigslist ad is now gone and police said the woman who Tammy gave the money to likely broke into the home to steal the keys which made her look like the owner of the house.

"People are in a mad dash to grab things that people can kind of skip the red flags," said John Stanislawski. 

Stanislawski is a Middle Tennessee real estate agent who said there are ways to avoid becoming the next victim.

"In an online form I would pay attention to a post that has no pictures, spelling errors, and also if there is a contact that leads nowhere," said Stanislawski.

Those are now all warning signs Tammy said she wished she would have paid attention to.

"Obviously I didn't do a good job because I just gave someone $2,000 and now I'm broke," said Tammy.

The real estate agent for the home Tammy and her family moved into paid for the family to stay in a hotel for the next two nights to give them time to find a new place to live.

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