Craigslist Scam Leaves Family Homeless - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Craigslist Scam Leaves Family Homeless

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by Marcus Washington

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A woman moved with her three children to Nashville in hopes of creating a better life, but after giving the man she thought would be her landlord hundreds of dollars, she was faced with a devastating dilemma.

For Renata Cox, living out of her car was not what she planned when she moved.

The new beginning was to start in this Donelson area home she found through an ad on Craigslist after speaking to a Mr. Lackey, the man she thought was the owner.

"He said he was out on missionary work. He is supposed to be affiliated with Joyce Myers," said Cox.

Since he was out of state, Lackey told Cox his attorney would handle the business. A man did show up and even had a key to get in the house.

"For me and my kids I have been looking for a place and I found this home and I just felt relief and I was out there praying, thank you Lord I finally found us a place," said Lackey.

Cox said she paid a total of $1,100 using MoneyGram to Lackey, even sending money to Nigeria.

It wasn't until move-in day when she met the actual realtor of the property. "She asked me what was the man's name and I told her. She was like; we don't even know that man," said Cox.

Cox said she was left with nowhere to turn, no money and three children.

"This man took my money, everything I had, I don't' have a house, I don't have anything," said Cox.

Detective Michael Park said a person should always research any business being done online with a private party and sending money overseas is a red flag.

"Just because someone says, send it to George in Alabama; he doesn't have to be in Alabama. He can be in Nigeria or wherever to pick up the money," said Park.

Cox said she has spoken to "Mr. Lackey" since her move-in date in which he told her she had been scammed.

Cox has been looking for housing in Nashville, but said she's considered moving back to Michigan with her mother.

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