BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – The Robinsons, a family of four, had just moved to Bismarck from Alabama about a week and a half ago, and began moving their furniture in last week when they got an unwelcome surprise.
Lori Robinson and her family were forced to pack back up after just moving into their new rental home.
“We were going to get ready to move more of our things in, and that’s when we were greeted by the realtors asking us why we were in the house, that it was for sale,” said Lori.
That’s when the Robinsons found out their landlord, known as Ted Motley, didn’t own the property at all.
“He gave me a lease, he told me the keys were in the mailbox,” said Lori.
Lori found the listing through Facebook, had been in contact with the man who was posing as a landlord, signed a lease, and paid a deposit and rent, resulting in a total loss of more than a thousand dollars.
“We checked this stuff out, we really tried to do it right and do everything we should, and this guy was just a step ahead of us every time,” said Alvin Robinson, Lori’s husband.
The messages and paperwork looked promising to the Robinsons.
“He even contacted my kid’s school to confirm the lease to start my kids into school,” said Lori.
Parrell Grossman with the state’s consumer protection division says the pandemic has been the opportune time for scammers like this.
“It’s so easy to say ‘look, I can’t show you the property in person, but here’s these pictures,…