Real Estate Scammer Targeting OKC Renters

Sunday, April 22nd 2012, 9:54 pm
By: News 9

A new scam is making the rounds in Oklahoma City targeting families who are looking for a home to rent.

"Two cases have popped up just since 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon," said property manager, Kristi Reynolds.

RAK Properties, a Better Business Bureau accredited company now looks to track down a man in Oklahoma City who's using their company name to scam people out of hundreds of dollars.

"Our name is on the application that this ‘T.B' or ‘Willard Barr' is handing out to people and our company is in no way associated with this gentleman," said Reynolds.

Reynolds says the scammer preys on victims with fixed incomes, telling them he inherited the properties from his family, but can't show the houses because he doesn't have a spare key.

"Apparently this guys is going all over the city. The lady that I spoke with this morning, she said that this gentleman showed her properties as well and in one case literally took the real estate sign out of the yard, hid it behind the bushes, and they climbed a fence to go see the property."

News 9 spoke to that victim on the phone who said she had lost more than $200. Another victim gave the scammer more than $400.

"He's just gotta be stopped from taking these people's hard-earned money."

Reynolds says the scammer was offering rental homes at an unrealistically low rent that included utilities, like a house at NW 50th and May for only $425.

"If it's too good to be true, it probably is."

You should never hand over any money to a person before you've checked into the business they work for. And it's rare that a reputable company would actually seek out people to lease their properties.

RAK Properties contacted police who said they would investigate. If they catch the scammer, RAK Properties will press charges against him.