Twin Falls woman warns others of Facebook rental scam

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) A Twin Falls woman is out more than $1,000 after falling victim to a rental scam.

Theresa Bullers trusted a woman going by the name Sonja Owens and felt comfortable about moving in to a home in the Pheasant View apartments.

Bullers explained that she paid the woman and got settled in.

"She goes, 'Just keep the key, go ahead and move in, you're fine.' She made it out like she was the owner, like she knew what she was doing, so that's what I did,” Bullers stated.

She then went to the bank.

"She said that all I had to do was go and get a money order and go over to Wells Fargo, and put the money order into her account, which I did,” Bullers stated.

A few days later, she got suspicious, after never getting papers to sign, and noticing the lock box had been not removed.

She went to Real Property Management, the place Owens said she worked for.

“They're like what place is it? And I told them, and they're like, 'We never rented that out.' I'm like, 'Are you kidding me right now?' They go, 'Yeah, it's still for rent,'” Bullers explained.

Real Property Management declined to talk on camera, however KMVT did talk with them about their rental process and where they advertise their listings.

They explained that they post the listings on their website, which then spiders out to websites such as apartments.com and Zillow.

They emphasized that they don’t post on Facebook or Craigslist, and that they have no idea who Sonja Owens is, she just happened to pick one of their properties to con hopeful renters.

The company also doesn't give out keys or allow people to move in without applying online, and they also go out to the house or apartment to walk around with the tenant.

Bullers said this experience makes her hesitant to ever rent again.

"It’s hard," she said. "You get to the point where you don't trust anybody, or you don't want to go out and rent something because you're afraid you're going to get scammed."

Bullers is currently living in a motel while she tries to find a place to live.

Wells Fargo, the bank where she deposited the money is currently reviewing the account and trying to decide what the next step is.

Bullers also talked to the police and filed a report.



 
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