THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — When a woman looking for a home in Thousand Oaks saw a posting online for a three-bedroom, two bathroom home for rent in for $1,000 less than other homes in the area, she jumped on it and contacted the poster.
“When we first heard about the deal, we were amazed,” Marie said. “It was such a great deal. Not only was it a low price, but it also included utilities and water and A/C and other things that are not usually included with the rent.”
She spoke with a man who claimed to be the owner offering the home for $2,900 per month and said he was attending a ministry program out of state — he even included a website for the program.
“It was a Baptist website for missionaries, people who do good, people who are helping people,” Marie said. “So I thought he was a really great person.”
But Marie said there were red flags almost immediately. She said he asked her to send a check without seeing the home and promised he would mail her the keys. He also told Marie to ignore the for sale sign in front of the home.
“He also didn’t ask for social security, didn’t check for our pay stubs,” she said. “He didn’t check for anything.”
Marie said she called the real estate agent’s number listed on the for sale sign at the home and spoke with Realtor Hilary Koch.
“It was crazy,” Koch said. “See a property before you ever give any money for a property.”
Koch said that people should have a fully-executed contract before money exchanges hands and that if a deal looks too good to be true, to walk away.