FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A married couple from Fresno left with thousands of dollars in damage to their home after a real estate scam left them locked up.
Sang Her and Nou Yang decided in June to move from California to Tennessee. Initially, this move was filled with excitement as they picked up their four children and moved on.
“It was the best decision for us,” Her said.
Within weeks, excitement turned to anger over the arrival of strangers.
“How did it happen? Is it a scam?” she says. “Just imagine being 2000 miles away and hearing that your house that you raised your kids in, it’s happening and law enforcement says there’s nothing they can do about it.”
She and Yang said the first week of September, a family member sent a photo of an Uhaul down the driveway. The for sale sign was nowhere in sight.
The couple gave the family member the code to enter the front door, but the keypad in the garage was missing and the doorknobs had been changed.
“My parents, when they came to check,” Her said. “The passcode lock was still there but they had changed it and changed the doorknob.”
Yang and Her called the police, but when the police arrived, the tenants showed them a month-to-month lease. Officers left because they said it was a “she said he said” situation and there was nothing they could do.
“Nothing was happening and that’s when we reached out to you,” Her said.
Desperate for help, Her and Yang called CBS47. Our station compared signing on the lease to signing on the deed. They didn’t match. It was clear that something was wrong.
The billing address on the lease then led us to another residence. This residence has been used by one of the tenants in the past, according to police.
Our station informed the police of the signatures and within 48 hours the tenants were out.
“Unfortunately the occupants were unable to provide a simple match with who they believed to be the owners, all they could provide was a rental agreement, which was fraudulent,” the detective said. Tim Johnson.
The tenants told police they found the listing on Craigslist and paid $3,000 cash to move in.
We spoke on the phone several times with one of the tenants, she finally stopped taking our calls.
After ushering the tenants out, she found their sign for sale behind the back shed.
“There’s the for sale sign right there,” Her said. “I know these people, when they moved in, had dogs and they were here. So they definitely saw that.
The tenants left behind most of their belongings, which under California law she and Yang had to keep for 2 weeks before spending hundreds of dollars to throw them away.
“This drawer here is broken, there is a water leak and there are also cockroaches,” Her said, pointing out the damage to the kitchen.
She said the tenants also broke the vents, sink, dishwasher and garage door. The family contacted their insurance but said the claim had been denied.
While the incident took a heavy emotional toll, the couple are happy to have their house keys back.
This case had a fairly quick resolution, but evictions usually take months.