YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE. Henderson real estate agent uncovers rental scam

Victims moved into home for sale

HENDERSON (KTNV) -
A Henderson real estate agent said he went to check up on a house he is selling and found people already inside. They showed him a lease, and he found out they are victims of a rental scam. 
 
"We have a lease, we have receipts, none of it's good, it's all bogus," said Jana, who is the victim of the rental scam.
 
Jana and her family now have to move out of the house near Lake Mead Parkway and U.S. 95. 
 
"We don't have a choice, we have to go," she said. "We've just sold everything we own. We have to move. We have no options. We don't get our money back, nothing."
 
Michael Bartok is actually the only one who could rent the property, so he was taken aback to see Jana and her family in the house.
 
"There's a saying that desperate people do desperate things and folks are out just looking to make money any way they can," said Bartok. "In this case, it's a pretty big chunk of change that someone can make on a one-time hit."
 
Bartok said the family paid someone more than $1,700 to live there.
 
Ashley Hawks, a broker and the owner of Black and Cherry Real Estate Group, said she sees at least six to eight rental scams each year in properties her company manages.
 
"I think it's just easy to get wrapped up in wanting to make an easy move and if something seems too easy, it usually is," she said.
 
She has some sound advice for renters:
  • Avoid people who ask for rent in cash
  • Beware if the home is priced too low or much lower than others like it
  • Check online at the county assessor's website to see who owns the home
  • Don't rent sight unseen
  • Take a close, careful look at your lease
  • Look for multiple listings of the same address online
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