3 On Your Side

Home rental hoax

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Jackson thought she was getting a great deal on a rental house in Tempe. (Source: 3TV) Jackson thought she was getting a great deal on a rental house in Tempe. (Source: 3TV)
When Jackson went back to the house, she found another couple looking at it and she knew she had been duped. (Source: 3TV) When Jackson went back to the house, she found another couple looking at it and she knew she had been duped. (Source: 3TV)

Dedria Jackson says she likes the apartment she rents but needed something a little bigger for her and her son. 

So, two months ago, she started looking for a home to rent. 

"We get on Craigslist and we're looking and we're looking and we finally found this house and we're like, 'Oh my God it's a house! It's a three bedroom, two bath. He's giving a great deal,'" Jackson said.

She liked the Tempe house that she found, so she called the number in the ad to inquire and spoke to a guy claiming to be the owner.

"He's like, 'Yeah, just go on over there, the house is open. My contractors just left today,'" Jackson said. 

"This is the house that Dedria came to check out. We're here now and on the inside, it's completely empty, nothing at all," 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper said. "There's a broken window here. Remember, Dedria says she was told to go inside and check it out for herself because the door was left unlocked."

Jackson says the house was a little rough, but the rent was incredibly cheap.

The owner claimed his name was Michael Morrison and if she liked the house, she needed to deposit $300 into his bank account right away.

She did, but when she went back to the house, Jackson found another couple looking at it and she knew she had been duped.

“Hey, are you thinking of renting this house? And the guy is like, 'Yeah, I'm talking to the landlord right now.' So then, right there, I knew it was a scam!” Jackson said. 

3 On Your Side got involved and found out the abandoned house is owned by a property management company.

The business address for that company came back to a condominium, so we went there looking for answers.

Neighbors tell 3 On Your Side the condo is vacant and that a Michael Morrison never lived there.

Jackson says she's found herself in a complicated scam. A property management company that doesn't seem to exist and the owner of a vacant home that no one seems to know.

But for Jackson, she says $300 is a big loss for her. 

“Oh my god, $300 is like $10,000 to me right now. At least the story will get out to watch those listings on Craigslist because you don't know what's going on,” Jackson said.  

Copyright 2017 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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