Local family almost becomes victims of real estate scam

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - As the saying goes, if it's too good to be true, it probably is.

"There is a demand for rentals here and unfortunately there's a demand for scams," said Corporal Steve LeSueur with the Odessa Police Department

For Chad Losiewski and his wife, a Facebook post about a 3-bed, 2-bath rental home in Odessa seemed like a great deal.

"The guy told me that it was $800/month. It was a $500 deposit. I told him I got the $500 now, I'll have the $800 the following weekend. She said that was fine," said Losiewski.

One issue, the man who said he owned the home Losiewski wanted to rent, didn't own the home at all.

"My wife got a funny feeling that something didn't seem right," said Losiewski.

A quick Google search showed the man didn't own the home at all, a local financing company did. That's when they realized everything might be a scam.

"I didn't want it to be because it was a nice house. It was perfect for us. We had room for the dogs to run. It was a beautiful home, they redid a lot of it," said Losiewski.

Sadly, Odessa Police say these type of scams are all too common.

"Unless you've physically seen what you're about to receive, unless you verified it, unless you verify that person, just simply do not give them money," said LeSueur.

Losiewski says the person he was dealing with lived in Arizona. He did get his money back before it was too late.

"Google is a great search engine and I'm glad that she figured that out and was able to Google that address and find it," said Losiewski.

As more people look online to find the best deals to rent homes locally, remember, it's buyer beware.

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