Tech Tips in 93536>Question Details

Ardella Berry, Home Buyer in Lancaster, CA

craigslist had a house for rent, owner claims to be in west africa, how can find out who is the current owner?

Asked by Ardella Berry, Lancaster, CA Fri Oct 24, 2008

House located at 43123 Bloomingpark street, Lancaster, CA 93536, supposed owner is David Russell which was bought July 15, 2008, actual listed owner by assessors office Minerva Jones bought in 1994

0 votes Share Flag Tech Tips in 93536

Help the community by answering this question:



I just checked our local MLS listings for the entire year and it appears that it has not been listed. Then I ran a Title Search and the property did indeed change ownership on 7-15-08 to NAM Family L.P. out of Marina Del Rey, Ca.

What does that mean to you? Well, does David Russell have paperwork that shows he is a Trustee, or has authorization to rent it out? Did they simply transfer the ownership to their family trust? Maybe, but if you decide to ask him about his role in the situation, make sure you do not mention the owner's name and see if he does. If he sends you paperwork, take it to a Realtor or Title Co., Escrow or even a Bank (if you have a relationship with the Manager) to let them look at the documents. Otherwise, I would steer clear!

Best of luck,

Cindi Wolf
Troth Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 26, 2008
Just had the same kind of thing on Trulia!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 4, 2013
It is a scam, don't waste your time. As soon as you locate the true owner, the scammer will already have a slew of new ads up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 29, 2013
Let your agent check the status of any property you see advertised online.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 29, 2013
What's the best way to report these scammers?
Just saw 2 cases just like them in Nevada...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 17, 2013
Hello Folks: Please beware of numerous rental scams throughout the southern California area. The rentals look legitimate, some even have complete pictures of the property inside and out.

Example #1 You inquire to a craigslist or other rental site. They e-mail back requesting personal info. It is usually written in broken or poor English. Usually they will say they are living abroad and will send you keys.Eventually, they will ask for payment via overnight mail or Western Union.

Example #2 Home is advertised and you meet them face to face. Property is actually in foreclosure or may not even be owned by person who you are speaking with. They will take your money sign a lease and you will find out on move in day that you have been scammed or within a month or so receive papers that notify you that house is in default or in foreclosure. Depending on the situation, you run the risk of arrest for trespassing or being evicted by the lien holder of the prop.

Please Never give anyone any money or sign a lease withiout verifying property owner and default status.
Always go through a licensed rental agency or Real estate agent/broker. Both can be confirmed legit on the DRE CA gov website as to license status and complaints.

Blaine Richards - Real estate Agent - Leasing specialist , Los Angeles, Antelope Valley 310-598-8634. Call me anytime for Rental Advise or questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 5, 2010
Just came across this in Ventura on Sable .. house is in foreclosure, they take your money then the bank throws you out in 60 days because they own it! Be very careful! Call a realtor and they can tell you if its in foreclosure, repo or an honest rental!

PLEASE do your research! It is the new scam for people losing their houses!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 3, 2010
The same thing happen to me and my husben the man was from west africa he even send me a lease by e-mail had pictures of the house inside and out but when he told us to send him money by westen uion we found out the house wa not his i even have his number from africa and paper he send me i told him the house was not his and it was not for rent he hanged up on me i e-mailed him back told him i was going to make a police report if he didnt take it off he did he had 22 ads on even he was sellinh dogs lol there really sick pepole out there and he told me he was a doctor as his wife also so i told him to send me the keys to the house then ill send him the money he told me he had no money to send it i had to send him money first so i told him you and your wife are soctors and u guys dont have any money to send out two keys lol until i found out the house blonged to an old lady and she was happy for me to tell herthey were using her house so she was so greatfull she sold me the house she was going to give it to me so cheap and i told her no ill pay u what its really worth and we did and she leaves with me now i take care os her she is a 92 yr old with no family now she is part of my family and she is so happy were taking her to spain now she never been there i give thanks to god that there are still good put there
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 18, 2010

I ran into this same thing myself. Fortunately, I did a search on Yahoo for the address and came up with the real renta listing. The African real estate scam works like this: the scam artist takes on the name of the owner and even gets an email address under the owners name.

Then they send you a rental application and ask you to send it back to them and they will ask you to transfer money. The ads look real and they usually ask below market rent so they can scam multiple people into giving them money. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!

Hope this helps
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 25, 2008

Unfortunately, there are many scams out there and this has "red flags" all around it. If something about this doesn't feel right, the best thing to do is move on and explore other options.

You might consider checking with the county records department to verify the ownership of the property. If things don't match up, it should be reported to the local police department.

In any event.....proceed with caution!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 25, 2008
Hmmm...well, 2 things come to mind. What the other Agents said could certainly be true. Or, the records have not yet caught up with any recent transactions (believe it or not it IS possible). I can do a Title search for you, or since I live here can drive by and see what I can find out. I have good relationships with "people" in Title and can look into any discrepencies, as well as look at the actual recorded deed.

Can I ask why you are asking the question, as you are pretty specific about that address? Call me and I will assist you further, without cost or obligation of course.

Cindi Wolf
Troth Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 24, 2008
If you they ask you wire money..... run and dont look back....

I just saw on the news recently when a young lady was scammed when she sent deposits to a condo to a person who said she was in hawaii for a family emergency..

They sent the money and never heard from them again.. Needless to say, they were not the owners.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 24, 2008
Please be very careful. A man was arrested today for posting home for rent ads on Craigslist. He would tell the renter the property was vacant, which it was because it was a foreclosure, and take their deposit and a few days or weeks later the sheriif would come and remove the renters from the property for trespassing. Be very careful. I doubt this person is in Africa, especially if he wants you to money gram the deposit to him.

Good Luck!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 24, 2008
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