By the way, the guy you were dealing with isn't named Gerald Thomas. And he doesn't live in Amarillo.
This is an extremely common scam. Craigslist (and Trulia and others) have all sorts of warnings posted about it.
By the way, didn't you think doing business that way was unusual? That Gerry didn't have a representative (Realtor, neighbor, other) in Denver? That he was willing to turn over keys to an expensive property to someone he'd never met? That he was willing to rent the property so much under market? And that his texts were in awkward or broken English?
Didn't you even thnk to check online to see whether that house was listed for sale? I see it listed as a HUD foreclosure for $200,000. See http://www.trulia.com/property/3090435910-4504-S-Newton-St-D
You should call the police. But that money is gone forever. Next time, follow normal procedures and exercise due dilligence.
It sounds like you are dealing with a scammer as there are numerous instances of them out on real estate sites posing as landlords attempting to gain personal information or people's money. The usual ruse is that they take a listing that is for sale and post the information as if it is for rent.
Yes, do contact the police and if the listing is appearing on the Trulia site then flag the listing and contact a Trulia moderator at: 888-466-3501 M-F from 7:00am-4:00pm PST. You can also send them an email about it to: http://www.trulia.com/help/ask. They normally respond within 48 hours.
Good luck on getting this resolved!
Prudential Connecticut Realty
phone: Western Union Customer Service 1-800-325-6000
In Person or U.S. Mail:
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, Texas 78711-2548
Prudent for you to get in touch with the authorities.
In the future work with a Local Agent, rather than with someone living in another State and wanting to send the Keys by mail.
This is sadly a very common Scam and it is well indicated to Beware.
So sorry to hear of your dilemna. This is a common internet real estate scam perpetrated on Craigslist, Trulia and other sites. Our office had a foreclosed home for sale a scammers actually came in and held open houses on the weekends and obtained leases and deposits from several potential renters who all came to move in on the 1st of the month. You really have to do due diligence on these deals and take no one at their word. I would start with the police and Trulia, the courier services, and hope for the best. Unfortunately, there is seldom any resolution on these type of scam transactions. Best of luck and sucess to you in getting it resolved. I am especially sorry for you as a retiring military veteran. Check to see if there may be some assistance you can get from Veteran's Affairs.
Robert McGuire ASR
Your Castle Real Estate
1776 S. Jackson St. #412
Denver CO 80210
Direct â€“ 303-669-1246