Widowed Tulsa Mom Victim Of Craigslist House Rental Scam

Tuesday, November 5th 2013, 6:16 pm
By: News On 6

A single mother, who works two jobs, just lost $750 in a rental scam. She saw a house for rent on Craigslist, paid the man and moved in, only to find out, he didn't own the house and had no right to rent it.

Not only is this woman out the money, she just learned Tuesday she has to be out of house in two days and has no idea where they're going to go.

Kimberly Mayfield's husband passed away a year ago this month, and she's been working hard to take care of her children. When she saw a house for rent on Craigslist, she called the man on the listing who said his name was Brett.

He showed her the property and gave her the key. She paid him $750. He told her his wife was having a baby, so he'd bring her the lease in a few days.

"He told me his wife was in the hospital and couldn't draw up the lease, to pay, I'd get the keys and he'd bring the lease over. I didn't have anything to worry about, I thought," said scam victim Kimberly Mayfield.

Brett hired someone to mow the grass, and Kimberly paid deposits to get utilities hooked up to the house in her name and began to move in a few things

But, a key box remained on the backdoor and her key only worked in one lock on the front door and not on the backdoor at all.

When her electronics were stolen by someone who clearly had access to the house, she called Brett but he never answered. She called the guy who mowed the yard, and he told her the landlord's name was Shawn. He gave her another phone number, so she called it.

"He just hung up," Kimberly said.

She found this piece of paper from a mortgage company that said the house had been winterized October 18th. She called them and found out the house was in foreclosure. It's supposed to be empty and will be sold at sheriff's auction November 26th.

They told her no one named Brett or Shawn had anything to do with the house.

She filed a police report.

"I want him to be caught and pay for what he did, but I don't want anybody to go through anything like this," said single mother Kimberly Mayfield.

She says the Brett/Shawn guy was white, in his 30s, overweight, wearing thick glasses and had rotten, front teeth. He drives a pretty new, black Dodge Ram truck.

I called and texted his numbers, but didn't get a response. The Sheriff's Office says you should check with land records office at the courthouse to make sure a person renting a property, actually owns it.

Kimberly is putting all her stuff in storage and will be staying with friends until she can find a new place to rent.