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Watch out! Clever scammer steals a couple's home and they cannot get it back

Watch out! Clever scammer steals a couple's home and they cannot get it back
© Rzymu | Dreamstime.com

Anyone who has ever tried to sell a home understands how frustrating the process can be. Getting it cleaned up and looking like new is only part of the battle, because a shiny house does no good if people don't come to see it.

That's where realtors come in, helping guide us through the process. They make sure buyers know the home is for sale, and do what they can to make sure we get top dollar when everyone signs on the dotted line.

Usually, the only frustrations we'd have with our realtor involves their inability to sell our home or not able to sell it for the price we're asking. While neither of those are pleasant, what has apparently happened to a Texas couple is far, far worse.

The house not being sold is the least of their problems

It all started when Pamela and John Hall decided to sell their Missouri City home. A woman claiming to be a realtor contacted them, offering help.

The home, which is about 4,000 square feet and has access to a lake, is very nice. Still, it made sense that they would want some help getting it sold, because there are a lot of hoops one must jump through in order to make it happen.

Except, after signing the paperwork to make the woman their realtor, the Halls quickly learned that what they signed was not what they thought. Instead of giving the realtor power to sell their home, they gave her the home itself.

The Halls realized this when, a few days after signing the forms, they got a call from someone asking about leasing their home. The person said they saw an ad on Craigslist, which made no sense because as far as the couple knew, their home wasn't listed on the site.

Except, it was.

As they would quickly learn, the woman they thought to be their realtor got them to sign documents that essentially gave their home away. The fake realtor used an LLC to take ownership of the home. They changed the deed to the house and took over power of attorney for the property.

After doing that, they listed it for rent at a cool $2,500 per month.

Along with photos and a price, the listing notes that it is a perfect place for someone who does not want to go through a credit check or deal with a bank. Not surprisingly, the real estate agent who is associated with the ad is not listed in any real estate database.

It goes without saying that the Halls had no intention to give their house away, so now they are left trying to pick up the pieces. They started by hiring an actual realtor, who said what happened to them is a scam.

Be that as it may, the problem is the Halls drove by their home to check on it only to see someone else moving in. The new tenant already paid $5,000 to lease the place, which has understandably led to some confusion. Unfortunately, the fake realtor is not answering anyone's calls.

Even crazier, as of now no one has been charged with a crime, though that could of course change.

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