Recently, I saw a news concerning a real estate agent Kervin Moreno who has been blamed for cheating people with lies. I too have got into situations where I had to take help of real estate agent for finding the right house. I did not do much research about the person who helped me get my dream home. Although, not everyone is lucky.
In all these years, I have seen my neighbors, colleague and many others complaining about their real estate agent. It seems that it has become common, to cheat people pretending as real estate agents. On a serious note, everyone should do thorough scrutiny before asking for assistance from any other person claiming to be the real estate agent.
It is not as simple as it sounds. However, it is still better to trust someone whom we know about, rather believing some unknown scammer.
The report outlined the ways Kervin Moreno posted adds on property listing websites and fooled people by selling and renting homes that he was not authorized for. This incident happened in the areas like Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough counties. He operated in these areas and was successful in fooling nine different clients for a total of $50000.
What is most intriguing about these scams is the way this man got away with most of his lies. His victims reported that they didn’t know they were staying in a house they were not allowed, until they were given the foreclosure notices. It is surprising but a blunt truth.
How Kervin Moreno executed his frauds?
As per the officials, Kervin Moreno posted ads on Craigslist. The ads were for selling and renting homes. He used to convince people of his intentions that were always fake and trick them into believing in his lies.
Many times, he would take the consultation charges and would ask the family to shift into a hotel until they found the right option and would run away with that. Also, sometimes he got the house for the clients and ran away. Those houses were not authorised for renting or selling purposes.
The agreements he prepared contained incorrect information and as soon as victim tried to confront him, he would stop answering their calls.
He was involved in many such activities and while he successfully accomplished his hideous desires, he took shelter in the Tampa Bay.
Clients take on his scam
The client who reported the case said, “It was horrible, the whole situation was horrible”.
Usually when we are introduced to someone from our friends and relative, we tend to be easy going. We do not bother to check their authenticity and get ourselves into trouble. This is what happened to Revis who met Kervin Moreno who had helped her friend with the property matter. She arranged the meeting as she wasn’t aware of the intentions of Kervin Moreno. She didn’t know that she was scammed as well.
Revis wanted him to assist her in selling her house and buying a new house in clear water. Real estate agents make our work easier. They narrow our search criteria as per our filters and help us select homes as per our preferences. This is fascinating and we depend on these agents to do our work.
Revis did the same mistake. She took every word Moreno said as true and genuine and did as he requested.
She added, “We went to his office and signed a contract that within 5 days we had to move out for a purchase and sale.”
As per the contract, she moved out of her house with her family and stayed in hotel. She said that she was looking for the right house for her family and Moreno promised to facilitate the purchase.
When she found the first house, she paid Moreno $1000 to hold the house which he couldn’t do and convinced them that the deal fell through. Later she found another house and paid him $1000.
They moved in the house. Later, the police informed them to vacate the house immediately as it was someone else’s house. It was illegal to stay in the there. She was shocked to listen to all that. This was not the end of Kervin Moreno scam. He had rented her house to someone else. Revis had to ask for court assistance in evicting the family.
In the meantime, she tried contacting Moreno, but he did not answer. He ran away and disappeared completely. It took five months for her to get her house back.
How did Kervin Moreno managed to fool people?
I have met con artist before and have seen them picking their victims who are in a rush or are unaware of how to accomplish their tasks. Similarly, the lady that reported about Kervin Moreno said that she wasn’t aware of the real estate operation and had bought her house through the builder.
Kervin knew that the Revis was a novice and it would be easy to trick her and he was right. She didn’t know that she had been scammed until the police alerted her.
I believe that criminals are great at reading others mind and play where they feel they are safe and will succeed. However, there is always the pay day for those who think they are smarter and committing crime is a piece of cake.
Kevin Moreno has been arrested and I am sure would be paying for the frauds he has committed.
I completely agree that finding the right house is difficult, but contacting the right agent is even tougher. Hence, we all should do our homework before we sign any contract or give any confidential documents in the hands of real estate agents.
You have the entire world in your hand. Search on internet and try to know more about the person you are going to give your most valuable asset. It takes a lot to buy a house. Do not let anyone take advantage of your decency.