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Rental scam leaves woman and family homeless

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Imagine the day that you are moving into the home you've just leased to find the owner there telling you the house isn't for rent. That happened to a Jackson woman who is out of hundreds of dollars and is now homeless.

Jessica Drummer paid a deposit, partial rent and moving expenses for a south Jackson home last week. But the man she said she met wasn't the owner and has a police record.

When Jessica Drummer calls the number of the man she paid $650.00 to rent a Hampton Street home in Jackson, it's no longer in service.

On moving day last Friday, the 30 year old got the shock of her life after learning that the home she visited, and paid to lease wasn't for rent and she and another woman who was moving in the same day were scammed.

"Nothing raised a red flag because every time I went to this house it was open. I could walk through the house. I could see everything in the house, nothing said this is not this guy's house and the fact that he gave me a lease," said Drummer.

"His real name is Wendell Scott," said the angry and frustrated wife and mother of four.

Drummer said the alleged owner's name was listed as Trey Scott on the flier about the three bedroom home she found at the HUD office on Terry Road.

HUD officials said the listings are only for Section 8 recipients not the public, and they are not responsible but sorry for her losses.

"It's nothing on the door saying this is not for the public. It's nothing on the door saying beware of scam artists because if it was, I went to Craig's List. It's a disclaimer on Craig's List that says beware of scams," added Drummer.

Jackson police are investigating and say Wendell Trey Scott has previous arrests dating back to the 1980's on charges including auto theft, forgery, false pretense and larceny.

Drummer said she later learned that he was a contractor for the man doing repairs to the home and that's how he got keys. She was given keys, a lease and a receipt which detectives now have.

We went to the home and was told by the current occupant who did not want to be identified that three people were scammed without the real owner's knowledge.  

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