Couple loses big in housing scam

Posted at: 12/31/2013 10:34 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A disabled woman and her husband are out nearly $2,000 after some scammers took advantage of their desperation as they look for a new home, leaving them even deeper in a hole.

If you spend enough time in front of a computer, you generally know when someone online is out to get you.

Mark McKee is a computer professional. You can imagine how he felt when he thought he found a rental home on Craigslist, only to discover a bunch of scammers had posted it.

Mark, and his paraplegic wife Barbara, fell hard.

Just before the holidays, they wired $1,600 to the alleged owner of the Northeast Heights home, a supposed woman who claimed she needed two months' rent for a deposit.

The woman claimed she was deaf, living in Lubbock, Texas recovering from an accident, and would only communicate via email or text message.

It seemed a bit fishy, but given Barbara's disabilities and troubles, Mark bought it.

The couple is desperate, facing foreclosure on their own home of 14 years. They need to leave soon.

That's why the home in the Heights made sense.

But, good luck trying to find anyone living there. No one does.

Mark has filed a claim with the Feds but knows most likely his money is gone.

He hopes everyone else can learn from his mistake.

Mark found that the same scammers have tried to rip people off in other cities in other states, using the same phone number.

He and his wife say they're now working with a rental agent and may have found a new home just today.