Victims of Fargo rental scam speak out

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Brandy and Bethany met for the first time on Monday, but the circumstances surrounding the introduction, aren’t what either had hoped for.

“People, why do you take advantage of people. Do you not have any compassion,” said Brandy DeBord.

Both women say they are victims of a rental scam.

They say they’ve lost hundreds of dollars combined.

“I was looking for a house because we needed something bigger. I was scrolling through Facebook as everyone does, looking for places to rent and then I saw this one house pop up,” said Bethany Andersen.

Brandy said she had just recently moved back from Florida.

The ladies were drawn to the home listing near Lindenwood Park because they say they were in desperate need of new living arrangements, but didn’t expect to be a part of a scam.

Bethany said after originally reaching out about the home, she drove by to see it for herself.

There she met a man living next door, who said he also owned the home from the listing.

“He was telling us about the property,” Bethany said. “My boyfriend was there and he was talking to him about the house and how much it is a month.”

Both women were told other people were interested in renting the house, but if they wanted it, they had to put a deposit down to hold it.

“The first time around, the application fee was $100. The deposit was $900 and for my animal, it was $250,” said Bethany.

As for Brandy, she says she electronically sent the man more than $700.

“You don’t take from people. I’m a single mom. I’m worried about how I’m supposed to buy a loaf of bread,” she said.

Afterward, Brandy said she began to see some red flags.

“I said can I view inside the house? We were supposed to meet last Monday at the house, but he said his wife went into labor. He can’t meet you.” she said.

Since Bethany physically met who she believed was the owner, she says she continued with the rental process including signing a lease.

“He said since I signed the lease agreement I need to pay first and last month’s rent up front,” she said.

So she did, bringing her losses up to nearly $4,000.

She says after mailing a check, she never heard back.

After being a victim of a scam Brandy says she has a new view on trust.

“I don’t trust people. Once I get back on my feet, I am going to have a guard up,” she said.

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