Ever peruse Craigslist for a new home? Nothing against Craigslist for doing that, but that’s where Coty Houston and David Yost happened to find a very alluring four-bed home for sale; looked perfect for their five young kids.
Then they all got squashed by a bomb: The man who sold it to them was not a licensed Realtor. Matthew Boros, however, used to be a real estate agent, but he never renewed his license. But this time, he had climbed through the house’s window (after placing an ad for it on Craigslist) and pretended to be the owner, with the plan of bilking the couple out of $5,000.
The couple was fooled by Boros’s charm. They had no idea that this kindly man, who had met their children several times, had been busted in the past for renting the same house out. They gave him a down payment and an additional $4,000, that day—in the name of expediting the sales transaction.
Yost remodeled houses for a living, so he had no problem starting the remodeling on this particular house, which definitely needed some repair and cleanup. He even replaced its electrical wiring.
Not long after, while he was working on the house, a man arrived asking why he was there. The vacant house had a real Realtor, who told Yost he was going to contact the police to report him for breaking and entering.
Next day, Yost found the house’s locks to be changed, his equipment still inside.
Houston visited the Second District Headquarters, armed with the payment and contract records from Boros. She and Yost then demanded their money back from Boros. Boros, though, told them he could prove with additional paperwork that the transaction was legal.
They met, and Boros refused to give a refund, but the police were waiting nearby and arrested the slug.
The couple is out $5,000, but may get their money back pending the judge’s decision. Boros pleaded not guilty. His lawyer claims to not have had sufficient time to study the case.
The ending is not all that bitter for the parents of five, however. They bought the house for real this time, with a reduced down payment.
Robert Siciliano CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.