Mississippi Digital News

Young mother bilked of thousands in social media rental scam

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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Scammers used a house for sale in Fondren to bilk the mother of a newborn of thousands of dollars.

A north Jackson woman thought she’d found the perfect home, only to be robbed by sending money through a cash app.

“That money was money I had saved up, and it’s no way really I can get it back,” said Adaziah Hardin.

The new mother should be enjoying the arrival of her daughter and looking forward to moving into a new rental home. Instead, the 24-year-old is reeling from the loss of $2,800.00 she paid to someone impersonating the owner of this Eagle Avenue house.

“I started on Facebook Marketplace, but I also saw it on Zillow,” said Hardin. “I actually went to the address looked at the house from the outside and stuff, and you could see straight through the windows and all that and went around the backyard and everything.”

She communicated with the imposters via email. November 15th, she was hospitalized but sent the deposit and rent through a cash app. More money was then requested.

“They were going to mail the keys overnight via Fed Ex, and so they asked me to send them the address to send the keys,” said the Jackson resident.

But the keys to the house never arrived, and her emails went unanswered until Sunday.

“It said, ‘Hello, Adaziah. I’m sorry, but this is a scam.’ It said those words. This is a scam. I’m in a third world country trying to make a living,” added the new mom.

Realtor Traci Maloney represents the actual owner and said tenants should meet with the owner and require a walk-through of the property. Other advice, never send cash or use cash apps, instead pay with a bank cashier’s check.

“Millenials today don’t have a checkbook. So it’s normal for them to use some of these cash apps,” said Maloney. “But you don’t want to do that on a rental property. It’s not traceable, and it’s not refundable”.

It’s a hard lesson that’s left Hardin devastated.

“This scam’s so real. It seems so real you wouldn’t even know until the end,” added Hardin. “I’m trying to figure out like what’s next.”

Report the rental scam to the police and the Federal Trade Commission.

Copyright 2021 WLBT. All rights reserved.

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