Local family of 6 might be homeless for the holidays after getting hit by fake rental scam

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City family of six might be homeless for the holidays after a scammer targeted them and took hundreds of dollars, too.

"Obviously he needed the money more than we did," victim Yesenia Valdespino said, "but he did leave us in a big bind."

In a bind and out $600 after the family put down what they thought was a deposit to rent a home located at 10324 Oakland Ave., Kansas City, Mo.

The scammer even told them to go check out the property, without going inside, and sent a fake lease agreement.

Then, Valdespino felt comfortable sending the money through a payment app called Zelle.

"It says payments sent,"  Valdespino said, "and it had John Myers."

But the real owners and property manager said they've never heard of a John Meyers.

KC Home Rental Property Management told FOX4 that's their rental listing, but they've never posted it on RealRentals.com -- where Valdespino saw it.

"Having somebody taking money like we work for," Valdespino said, "that's a pretty big amount for people that don't have money."

Valdespino and her husband have four children under the age of seven. She said not only does Christmas look bleak, but they struggle to pay for diapers, rent and utilities.

"We try not to let it affect them, but it does," Valdespino said.

The whole reason they moved to Kansas City was to be closer to Children's Mercy. Their 2-year-old has infantile scoliosis.

"We don't want to ask for anything. But at this point, being left with nothing, it's really taken a lot."

Valdespino filed a police report and told the scammer she did so.

"And then he says, 'Okay good. Try to also contact Donald Trump,'" she said.

When FOX4 tried to call "Myers," no one answered and there was no voicemail available to leave a message.

"I just wish that he would come out and say I'm sorry," Valdespino said, "and not keep doing it to others."

The family has started a GoFundMe page. Valdespino said they're only hoping to raise enough money to cover what they lost in the scam.



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