A family of five is now homeless in Denver, Colorado, after being scammed out of a rental home.
“When we saw the house, I was like, ‘This is the perfect house,’” grandmother Ramona Salas told KDVR.
Ramona moved in with her adult son, daughter and two young granddaughters, ages two and five. On Feb. 13, the family was told they would have to move out because the lease Ramona signed was fake.
“Here they can play. Have privacy. Now, everything is down the drain,” Ramona said.
Ana Salas, 26, is a single mother of two daughters. “Where am I going to go?” she asked.
The Salas family lost $4,200 in deposits and rent, plus the other costs that came with moving in — cable hookup fees, tow truck fees to move two nonworking cars from the garage, and moving truck costs.
The family was scammed by a man using the name Lance Davis, who apparently posed as a realtor. “He came. He opened the doors. He had a key. He gave me a key, two garage door openers,” Ana said.
After he failed to turn on the home’s water heater, the family grew suspicious. “I kept calling. I kept texting him. Nothing,” Ana said.
A customer service agent for “American Homes 4 Rent” informed the family that they had been scammed. "’You’re not the renter. Someone else rented the house.’ He asked, ‘What are you doing there?’ I was like, ‘We rented the house. We have a lease,’” Ramona said.
The family has since moved out and put their belongings in storage. “I wasted all my money on this house,” Ana said.
The Salvation Army said the family can stay with their organization until Feb. 17, but the family is not sure what will happen after that. They have just $30 among them.