Consumer 10: Rent-To-Own Craigslist Scam Continues To Dupe Homebuyers

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UPDATED: Thursday May 8, 2014 6:05 PM

 A follow-up to a Consumer 10 scam warning about fake Craigslist ads for rent-to-own homes in central Ohio. 

A man who saw that story called to say he too was a victim too and he doesn't want anybody else to lose money

Byron Kelley's efforts to find a rent-to-own home ended almost as soon as they began.  “To me personally, it sounded too good to be true.  But I just wanted to jump on it because I needed somewhere to stay,” he says.

Kelley saw an ad on Craigslist for affordable rent-to-own homes from a company called First House Financial.  After checking out their website, he gave them a call.

"They told me I could own the house.  I had the choice to either rent or own, so I'm thinking I could own a house and make payments on it,” recalls Kelley.

He paid $99 for a list of what was supposed to be foreclosed homes.  Then, he visited some of the addresses and realized it seemed too good to be true.

And he knew it for sure after watching 10TV’s story about First House Financial on Monday night.

Consumer 10's investigation revealed that First House Financial lures people with fake photos on Craigslist.

A beautiful home supposedly in Hilliard, was actually a photo from a design website.

A home in Canal Winchester is for sale in Norwalk Iowa.

A house in Dublin is for sale in Gilbert, Arizona.

The Better Business Bureau has taken in more than 120 complaints about First House Financial nationwide, resulting in an F grade.

“If you look at their business review, you can look at the types of complaints that the BBB is getting. You can read actual complaints from consumers. And they're getting ripped off,” says Joan Coughlin of the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio.

Byron knows he wasted his money on a scam and warns others not to get caught.   "Just be very careful because, I mean, they got me, they can get you just like that.”

First House Financial never responded to 10TV’s repeated requests for comment.

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