Internet Real Estate Scammers, Be Vigilant and Be Smart

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Charles Stallions Real Estate Services

From fake closing information to searching obituaries it is a scammer's dream but it doesn't have to be your nightmare. Check twice when signing documents and always call to make sure of what you are doing. It is just me but I do nothing online when it comes to transferring title or even getting a loan, print it and mail it or scan it and always checked the email of where it is going. 

fraud illustration

Internet Scammer Faked Real Estate Sales, Rentals

Faked online sales and rentals netted a criminal $300K from 45 Fla. families. The scam included fake title companies, websites, title agents and email addresses.

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. – Real estate fraud is as old as Florida, but the $300,000 scam that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) credits to a Loxahatchee woman possesses a thoroughly modern thoroughness.

FDLE says Tabria Josey created an online world of real estate listings, websites, email addresses and fake companies to sell properties she didn’t own. Investigators say the 20-year-old worked in Palm Beach, Orange, Indian River, St. Lucie, Lee, and Flagler counties.

Josey was arrested Wednesday morning on charges of scheme to defraud, grand theft, money laundering, aggravated white-collar crime and communications fraud. As of Wednesday afternoon, she remained in Palm Beach County Jail.

Josey “took advantage of Florida’s red-hot real estate market to rip off homebuyers and renters,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said. “As the investigation into this elaborate real estate scheme remains active, my statewide prosecutors will continue to work with law enforcement to ensure (Josey) faces justice for her crimes.”

FDLE says Josey picked out properties to list for sale on real estate websites. The owners wouldn’t know their property was listed. Josey impersonated the owners when necessary.

Once she got a desirous buyer on the hook, Josey would impersonate the title agent, according to the agency.

“As part of the scheme, she created fictitious title companies, websites, title agent identities and unique email addresses making the sale appear legitimate,” FDLE said.

The state agency said Josey used 25 properties to defraud 45 people.

Anyone who knows of other victims or any other parts of this fraud can call FDLE’s Fort Myers office at (800) 407-4880.

© 2022 Miami Herald. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Comments (1)

Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

That lady had quite the elaborate scheme going there Charles Stallions.  Image what should do if she was legitimate.

Jul 04, 2022 05:10 PM
Charles Stallions

How about your neck of the woods or is it just in Florida that we have this. A guy back in 08 went around to all the vacant homes and cleaned them up, changed locks and rented them out taking the security with first and last months rent. Greed caught up with him when he decided to rent the same house to 4 different couples. 

Jul 05, 2022 05:19 AM